The Late Movies: Best Timelapses of 2012


On December 31, 2012, chose its top timelapse videos of the year. Below, I bring you their picks -- plus a few of my own.

The Lion City

Creator Keith Loutit explains:

For 'The Lion City', the idea behind the extension of the tilt shift technique is for focus and distance to be something the viewer can experience. It also doubles to communicate the constant heat and humidity that hits you whenever you leave the comfort of air conditioning in Singapore.

If you've never heard of it, learn more about tilt-shift photography from Wikipedia.

Passing Through

Shot in Iceland by Kristian Ulrich Larsen and Olafur Haraldsson, who explain:

The text used for the narration of “Passing Through” is part of a speech Serbian scientist and inventor Nicola Tesla delivered in 1893 at the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia. Though today less known than figures like Edison and Einstein, Tesla was more or less the father of much of our modern technology, since he among other things developed the foundations of the European electrical system based on alternating currents and the principles of wireless radio communication. At the time he was deeply influenced by the Austrian physicist and philosopher Ernst Mach, believing that the world should be conceived as a whole where everything is interconnected influencing each other. And that energy is a force that runs through everything be it inorganic matter, organisms or human consciousness. According to this line of thought every single action has universal consequences, not unlike what the father of modern chaos theory Edward Lorenz in the 1960’s termed ‘the butterfly effect’.

Weathering Spring

Portland, Oregon in timelapse -- gorgeous. Filmmaker Lance Page explains:

"Weathering Spring - Portland Time-Lapse" is an artistic documentation of the Portland spring using time-lapse photography. It is a culmination of nearly 3 months of work, over 64,000 photos making up 83 different time-lapse clips (about 45 of which made it into the final cut), 800 GB of hard drive space and one very exciting spring season in Portland. The video provides an epic visual roller coaster ride through the city's stormiest days on into the night displaying glimmering city lights and intense traffic and back into the daylight with those beautiful sunny spring days that lead us into the long awaited pacific northwest summer.


A highlight reel by photographer Paolo A. Santos.

Fall (Central Park)

Although shooting on this film began in 2011, it was released in 2012 so I think it counts. Filmmaker Jamie Scott describes the effort behind this one:

One of the most striking things about New York City is the fall colors and there's no better place to view this then Central Park. I chose 15 locations in the park and revisited them 2 days a week for six months, recording all camera positions and lens information to create consistency in the images. All shots were taken just after sunrise.

The Stars as Viewed from the International Space Station

By Alex Rivest, using images provided by NASA Johnson Space Center.