You may or may not remember this Toronto-based photographer’s name, Tom Ryaboi, but if you follow my Facebook or Twitter, then you must have seen I post a link to one of his popular picture “i’ll make ya famous” that has been featured on multiple blogs and websites. What I didn’t know was that Tom is also a time-lapse shooter, and he recently released a video that has gone viral in the past few days. I have to say, Tom’s attention to detail is top notch, and the video’s composition is flawless. I also agree with a lot of what Tom has to say about shooting time-lapse:
Although timelapse sequences are composed of still images, the methods and processes needed to put together the final video are completely different. After battling with motion control gear, camera settings and aperture flicker for several months, it didn’t feel like I was making any progress. I never had such a hard time capturing a vision with photos. But the more I struggled, the more I was intrigued: how do the greats like Ron Fricke do it?
Coupled with these challenges, this project involved mountain of stairs to climb, quite literally. After joking around with friends, we put together a list of buildings I shot from. Added together, they reach higher than 23,000 feet. If stacked up on top of each other, I’d be facing a hefty Himalayan mountain.
After much frustration, patience, and perseverance I finally felt that I was getting somewhere. The turning point came on Canada Day when I shot my first flawless day to night scene, albeit one that featured an overcast sky. The clip can be seen 1:30 of the video. At a certain point you can actually see some fireworks go off in the background, and that’s what it felt like in my head too.
One thing that shooting a timelapse forces you to do is to look inside: after setting up your shot, there’s often not much you can do for hours, but sit up there and ponder. The relationship between the cold glass, steel and concrete below coupled with the often majestic clouds, sky and sun/moon never ceases to be a source of wonder. The purpose of what you’re doing becomes a frequent question in your mind.
Take a few minute out of your day and enjoy Tom’s time-lapse below.