Tam Nguyen Photography

New York Beauty and Fashion Photographer

Everest – A Timelapse Short Film by Elia Saikaly

Posted on June 10, 2013 in Photography

Everest – A Timelapse Short Film by Elia Saikaly

I’m a sucker for time-lapse videos, so I spend a lot of time browsing Vimeo for this type of content. Not only am I interested in the final product, but I’m also intrigued by the story of how the final product comes to life. Take, for example, a look at the video below that was shot by Canada-based adventure photographer and filmmaker Elia Saikaly. Starting from the beginning of April 2013, Elia started an interactive journey to conquer Mountain Everest, where his followers could stay in touch with him while he was completing the quest. At night, while most climbers slept, he attempted to capture some of the magic that the Himalayan skies have to offer while climbing to the top of the world.

For the first time in my life, I am terrified to fall asleep. Why? Because I’m afraid I’m not going to wake up. Edema is the fatal high altitude illness where the brain or lungs fill with water, often followed by coma then death. The only way to treat pulmonary of cerebral edema is to descend and that is simply not an option for me. […] When I close my eyes, I experience visions of crossing over to the other side. Magnetic waves seems to be pulsing and pulling me deeper into my mind. There is a bright light ahead of me and it seems to be seducing me and attempting to convince me to let myself be pulled into the land of the ever-dormant. “It’s beautiful”, I think to myself.  I open my eyes, sit up immediately and cough uncontrollably. “This is not happening to me!”


The sound of violent wind tearing away at the fine yellow walls of my North Face tent forces me awake. I’m alive! My super-hydration strategy seems to have worked and my choice not to alarm anyone with my condition seems to have paid off. […] I can feel my body is slowly shutting down. The weight of my tripod, 2 cameras, all of my batteries, including my oxygen has taken its toll on me. I have been revving at 120% for the past 10 hours and I’m almost out of gas. I am the first to arrive and notice instantly that we have the mountain to ourselves.

This time lapse video is comprised of thousands of photographs, processed and assembled on Mt. Everest.

Shot on a Canon 5D Mark II
– Canon 2.8 16-35mm
– Canon 2.8 24-70mm
– Canon 2.8 70-200mm

Be sure to head over to Elia’s blog and read the full writeup of his trip.


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