Stunning Time Lapse Video of Portland, Oregon

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Finding Portland is a stunning time lapse video that was produced, shot, and edited in 51 days during March and April at the invitation of TEDx Portland. Filmed in Portland and the Columbia Gorge, we take in many sights of the city and its surroundings. From a Portland Timbers season opening soccer game, to the top of the Fremont Bridge, to an aerial shot of Oneonta Gorge, to a Portland Trailblazers game, to a brief tour of Powell’s City of Books, this video covers the city and its surroundings from many incredible angles.

According to Ben Canales, John Waller, Steve Engman, Blake Johnson, the people behind Uncage the Soul productions, the video is comprised of 308,829 distinct photographs taken from over 50 unique locations. It took an average of 3.8 hours to make each second of this film. The intent of the project was to place our cameras in unique locations across the city, achieve significant ranges of dynamic camera motion, and pursue cutting edge time-lapse techniques.

This is one of the best urban time lapses I have ever seen, and it certainly deserves much recognition.


(via PetaPixel)

Arctic Motion

A little escapism on this lovely Sunday afternoon is this timelapse video by  Tor Even Mathisen. As the title of the film implies, we traverse the Arctic and see mountains, quaint villages, and striking displays of the Aurora Borealis. The accompanying song is “As We Float” by The American Dollar. The timelapse was made with Canon EOS 5D Mark II and Canon 16-35mm f/2.8L II lens.

Also worth watching is Mathisen’s beautiful timelapse captured off the coast of Norway, still one of the best Aurora Borealis compilations I’ve ever seen:

Chimping: A Film about Modern-Day Photojournalists

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“Chimping” is a 23-minute film by Dan Perez de la Garza, who documents nine modern photojournalists including Pulitzer Prize winners Preston Gannaway and Rick Loomis, Emmy Award winner Paula Lerner. Other photographers featured in the film include Todd Maisel, Chris Usher, Angela Rowlings, Edward Greenberg, Stan Wolfson, and Rita Reed. The film is an intimate portrayal of daily struggles of modern-day photojournalists. But it also serves as a poignant reminder that we need these people to do what they do, day in and day out.

The title of the film refers to photographers’ tendency to check their photos on their LCDs immediately after they’ve captured their photo(s).

Samuel Zygmuntowicz: The Violin Maker

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“The Violin Maker” by Dustin Cohen is an excellent short documentary profiling Samuel Zygmuntowicz, a violin maker based in Brooklyn. Samuel has been working with violin since he was 13 years old. He explains that his clients are very demanding, but ultimately, his job is highly, highly rewarding.

Also, make sure not to miss the excellent photo essay accompanying the film:


The Violin Maker

Montblanc Film Contest: The Beauty of a Second

Almost two hundred years ago, Nicolas Rieussec recorded time to an accuracy of a fifth second for the first time, and the chronograph was born. To celebrate this unique invention, Montblanc announced a one-of-a-kind “The Beauty of a Second” short-film contest presented by the famous film director Wim Wenders:

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Since then, there have been three iterations of the contest, with the winning entries shown below. All of them are beautiful and inspiring. How much can you tell in one second? A lot.

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What would your one second story be?

Inspirations: a Short Film Celebrating M.C. Escher

This is a beautiful short film celebrating M.C. Escher (1898-1972), the Dutch artist who explored a wide range of mathematical ideas with his woodcuts and lithographs. The filmmaker behind the film is Cristóbal Vila, who invites you to visit for more information about the film.

The film starts out with a view of a chessboard and what appear to be beans arranged on eleven of the board’s squares. This is a reference to the famous “Wheat and Chessboard Problem.” When the creator of the game of chess showed his invention to the ruler of the country, the ruler was so pleased that he gave the inventor the right to name his prize for the invention. The wise man asked the king: for the first square of the chess board, he would receive one grain of wheat (in some tellings, rice), two for the second one, four on the third one, and so forth, doubling the amount each time. The ruler, arithmetically unaware, quickly accepted the inventor’s offer, even getting offended by his perceived notion that the inventor was asking for such a low price. But when the treasurer started doing the calculations, it quickly surfaced that this was an impossible offer to fulfill. Given the request, the final tally would have been 18,446,744,073,709,551,616 2^64 – 1 = 18,446,744,073,709,551,615 grains!

Continuing along, we also see homages to such things as Fermat’s Last Theorem, Leonardo da Vinci’s The Vitruvian Man (Leonardo may have had some help in its creation), Hokusai’s The Great Wave, Jan van Eyck’s The Arnolfini Wedding, Gustav Klimt’s The Kiss (which I saw in person at the Belvedere Palace in Vienna, Austria), and much, much more. In essence, the short film contains a treasure-trove important cultural references. All of the artworks featured in the film may be seen here. All of the math references may be seen here.

If you’re interested in learning more about the creation of the film, take a look at the wireframes below:


(hat tip: Open Culture)

(Update 3/10/2012: Corrected the count of total grains from 2^64 to 2^64 – 1.)

Gorgeous Timelapse of Saint Petersburg, Russia

This is a gorgeous timelapse video of one of the most beautiful cities in the world, Saint Petersburg, Russia. Watch as we get numerous overhead views of the city, including a stunning fireworks display over the Neva River. For the stunning closing, we see the opening and closing of the Palace Bridge over the Neva River.

The video was shot by Andrew Efimov using Canon 7D and 5D Mark II cameras. The cut scenes are of a violin duet by Igot Zalivalov and Sofia Bridge. What a beautiful composition as a whole. Highly recommended seeing this one large.

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