I started this year with a project I have been wanting to complete for some time – a show reel. I have been making time-lapse ever since this style of photography became popular. That has allowed me enough footage to pull together a show reel. It was made with the intention of being used as a ‘splash video’ on my homepage. Its aim was to inspire and showcases the breadth of my work and the technical understanding needed to create time-lapse. In less than a minute, you will see 27 clips flash by, some of which include my very best. It’s a little glitchy I know, but it is considered a modern production show reel and this appeals to me. I particularly like the tags in each segment which reinforce the message to compliment the visuals. You can see it below – I hope you like it. The show reel was made using a custom Adobe After Effects template.
On the same post-production theme, the clip above on the right shows a side-by-side comparison of a scene where I swapped out the night sky. Close to three years ago, I made my Mainland time-lapse after a month of travelling around the South Island of New Zealand. One area where many people want to shoot is Castle Hill in Canterbury. I got there late in the afternoon looking for the rock arch I had seen a number of year ago. Having found it, I shot the scene on a slider looking up at the sky, moving from left to right under the arch. Unfortunately, there was some light pollution under the clouds which I really did not want. In the weeks to follow, I painstakingly used masks in Adobe After Effects to cut in a new Milky Way scene I shot earlier. I made a small movie showing the scene before and after result. I made sure it looked real by testing it with others and I was pleased with the finished result. I cannot recall how many hours I put into it, but it was huge.
One of my goals this year is to try and use more storytelling in the way I shoot my time-lapse. Story-telling itself has become increasingly popular and a buzzword used by creative types. But do many of us know how to tell a story using clips and sequences? I don’t think so. It’s not as simple as you might think. Too many people jump into time-lapse with the thought of doing something “cool” but without thinking of how these sequences might be used to enhance a more significant story. A good time-lapse needs to be something more than an eclectic mix of scenes thrown together with a bit music. Watch this space.
Lastly, I wanted to touch briefly on my latest gadget. Having a drone means we as pilots are susceptible to GPS failures and fly-away incidents. I want to avoid this tragedy and researched the technology to help find it, just in case this type of event occurred. There are GPS trackers with SIM cards out there and they are fine if you’re in range of a cellular network, but often, I am not. So what I found was the ‘Marco Polo’. A small radio transmitter that sends a signal up to 2 miles (3.2 kms) to a handheld monitor that constantly searches and indicates how close the drone might be through the transmitter’s strength. The device was initially used to track a lost pet. So far, my fields tests have work well ! I just hope I never have to use it. Thanks for reading !