– Online Seminar Paper

( http://vimeo.com/42785517 )

2-   ( Instead of critically analyzing a classmates work I have analyzed a professional photographers -Tom Lowe’s work. Due to my ‘feedback buddy’ not being at uni enough or having work for me to feedback on. )


Tom Lowe has been recognized for his work in recent years and named Astronomy photographer of the year 2010.  I discovered Lowe’s work while researching timescapes and timelapses on Vimeo at the beginning of this project and it immediately caught my attention.  Lowe’s work varies from other artists due to the style its constructed in, the cinematography and the quality of the footage is so high that the videos are immersive and the audience becomes fully immersed in the video, this is partly due to the very atmospheric and mood creating music that accompanies his videos.  

Initially I was not able to view Lowe’s full film, however after buying the full film I was able to watch the forty-five minuet film of his timescapes.  Although I feel a lot of the shots lasted too long and that forty-five minuets is too long for a series of timelapses. They possibly should have been done as a series of collections of timelapses and not as one long film, as it’s hard to stay totally immersed and interested throughout this long period of time, Especially when its accompanied by slow music and the time lapses although powerful and dramatic lack in pace and movement. The film documents a series of landscapes, starscapes, seascapes, mountainscapes and events through a use of timescapes and timelapses as well as slow motion. There is a consistent high level of quality of cinematography throughout the entire film, with beautifully composed and planned shots that range from nighttime scenes to festival shots.


The main reason however for my interest in Tom Lowes work in particular is the way he sets up shots, and makes inanimate objects such as tree stumps or even a stone arch a beautiful feature of the timelapse in the foreground and manages to create interesting scenes in which he sets his timelapses, he does this by using lighting to highlight certain features of the shot. This allows landscapes and locations to be as equally amazing as the starscape or cloudscape that is happening behind them, which would usually be the entire focus of the timelapse.  The way in which Lowe adds movement to static scenes also interests me and is what caused my interest in the use of motorized sliders , dollys and tripods. Lowe uses subtle movements and zooms within his timelapses to add movements which create a less static shot, this allows him to create amazing starscapes in which it appears as if they sky is slowly rotating in a different direction to the foreground which creates some extraordinary starscapes that wouldn’t be this interesting and aesthetic to the viewer otherwise .


Although i feel like i have learnt a lot on this project, I would still like to further my timelapse skills. I know that my knowledge of timelapses is still very basic and I would like to develop this skill a lot and learn how to create more high quality timelapses.

I’m really interested in learning how to create pans and camera movement within timelapses using a variety of equipment that makes this possible. However to do this I would have to have access to a lot of equipment that I do not currently have any access too such as motorised dollys/tripods or sliders, otherwise id of liked to explored this already. When I started this project I initially thought that it would be possible to make timelapses on my own, however since beginning this project I have learnt that large teams are usually required, as well as a lot of equipment and a lot of pre-planning to create high quality timelapses.  So this will be something ill plan to do in my own time with people who are also interested in this, as it would be time consuming.

I would also like experiment more with the maths and timing behind timelapses such as how many seconds apart I take each image and how it creates an entirely different effect depending on this, to do this I would use to SLR’s set up in the same place but set them to take images at different intervals and then compare the end results . Researching a wider range of styles of timelapse would also benefit me if I was to continue on with creating timelapses.  I have not yet explored light trail timelapses although I did plan to within this project, this is due to having a lack of knowledge on how to create these and discovering how hard they are to create after a series of completely failed attempts. I would also like to explore other forms of timelapse such as cityscape ones that use similar techniques to the light drawing timelapses.

Another experiment I would like to do is to go to a variety of different landscapes and create a scene like a lot of the photographers I have researched have done , these are mainly night time scenes that use lighting to highlight objects within the foreground of the image such as the timelapse of the Aurora Borealis that I researched that used a lit up car parked on a road at night n the foreground and the Aurora Borealis as the background. Timelapses like this are more immersive and interesting and keep the audience engaged due to the depth in the shot and the amount happening within it, so this would be something i’m very interested in learning about and exploring .

Research/Project Summary .

In the project I have learnt how to create time scapes / lapses through various methods. I have learnt simple methods such as applications on Macbook Pros that create time lapses for you based on the settings you chose , and more complicated methods such as using SLR’s to create timelapses and timescapes also.

I have also learnt more about the various types of timelapse , prior to creating them and researching them I did not know the different terms such as timelapse , timescape etc. I have learnt that these are the different types,  such as a mountain range or landscape would be a timescape where as a timelapse would be similar only documenting something that is not a landscape such as a nightsky or possibly a scene within a city. I discovered many timelapse and timescape artists , each had their own slightly different style which made their work stand out from the others .

Timelapses/scapes are a brilliant way of documenting the passing of time in either one area or various areas , it allows this process to be shown in a fast version so that slow process’s and changes become dramatic events . Such as clouds changing and margining and stars moving across the sky. An important element of creating timelapses is getting the timing of the shots right,  taking images to far apart can create unsmooth looking timelapses and even miss important parts of the development, where as taking photos to often can create boring slow developing timelapses .

Overall this project has allowed me to learn the skills of how to create and plan a basic timescape or timelapse , its also allowed me to explore creative photography , which is a skill I have not previously been able to develop on this course. I have learnt that shorter timelapses can be more effective than longer ones depending on the subject addressed within the shot , ‘light painting’ timelapses usually last longer as more is happening within the shot , allowing the audience to stay more interested in the shot , however timescape shots usually last between three to six seconds this is because the shots are mainly static and focus on Inanimate objetcs . Timescapes are a brilliant way of showing the beauty of everyday things that we usually don’t realize due to the amount of time they slowly change over such as clouds, night skys and sunsets . It speeds the event up and allows us to watch it in a way we would ordinarily not be able to view these natural events.

Timelapse –

Timelapse -

Timelapses allow objects/things to become interesting focusing of the scene which would ordinary not attract our attention atall. Using the object in the foreground and the main focus of the timelapse in the background (the night sky) creates an interesting planned scene which would not usually be interesting , appealing or eye catching.

I still have not been able to create a successful timescape as planned yet due to poor weather and camera faults , however within the next few days i plan to produce a timelapse of a cityscape instead of a landscape or starscape as planned . Although im disappointed by this it will still be a learning experience and hopefully this time ill be able to post what i produce online as i’ve been having problems with .Mov files and wordpress . 



An issue im currently facing with this project is my lack of access to places as beautiful and inspiring as the locations used in the timelapes that inspire me the most , i understand that part of this is also due to very high quality camera’s which i also do not have access to .

This is why the majority of this project for me has been researching instead of creating these myself . Locations i had planned to try and experiment with timelapses at i could not get to when planned due to poor weather recently , so although im less interested in them im now replanning to do a nighttime citylight timescape instead of a landscape based one.