In my work I capture the element of time by warping, twisting and bending it in all sorts of unconventional ways. This results in techniques like long-exposure time-lapse, what I call morph-lapse, and others I don't even know what to call.
In this video you'll see a variety of time lapse techniques, including the ones I teach.
Temporal Explorations is a sort of showreel of different techniques I came up with that play with the perception of time. I had already created a number of very short videos using these techniques, often consisting of just a single shot, but I thought they might work combined into a longer piece, given the underlying theme of exploring time.
Except for one studio shot, the various segments were shot on location in Rotterdam, New York, Chicago, and South Africa over several years.
One of the techniques I started experimenting with years ago is long exposure time lapse. I had seen what some photographers were doing with long exposure photography and wanted to translate that relaxed, quiet look and feel to time lapse photography, which often has a very hectic feel to it.
If you were to take a series of long exposures and turn them into a time lapse though, time would be sped up enormously in the resulting video, because you can only take a still every few minutes. That, in turn, would not give it that meditative feel I was after, apart from the fact that it would take a very long time to shoot such a time lapse. So I found out that there was a way to take a regular time lapse and blend each frame with dozens, or sometimes hundreds, of frames before and after it, creating the same effect as if you had taken overlapping long exposure shots every few seconds.
Another technique I play with is what I call "morphlapse". Morphlapse is a technique I developed based on optical flow that allows me to morph an image from one thing to another.
The last shot in Temporal Explorations is a combination of these techniques. I took a series of semi-long exposures (about a second each) of water flowing over a group of rocks. I then "morphed" these shots into a longer video and then did the frame blending to create the long exposure look. The result looks very surreal. The water seems to flow in slow motion but has this streaky, long exposure look to it. It's almost like a still image. The viewer probably doesn't quite know what's going on, which is exactly my intention.
The main point of Temporal Explorations is to show that there's an incredible world of creative possibilities, if you let go of your conventions of how things are "supposed" to be done. I arrived at all of these unconventional techniques through a lot of trial and error, and during my workshops I often encourage people to try crazy ideas every now and then. If you try something new there's always the risk that it doesn't turn out the way you wanted. But it's very rewarding when it does. And more often than not, you end up with something even cooler than your original idea.