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Le Flaneur.
March 20, 2011 1:49 AM   Subscribe

Paris in 2000 images. A time lapse of Paris at night. Interview with the creator.

Bonus: NYC by day.
posted by Phire (22 comments total) 20 users marked this as a favorite

 
Me and the Mrs. went to Paris and we shot at least 2000 images, most of which have already been pasted into very nice scrapbooks. I think it's unfortunate that this time-lapse video guy never made it over to the Eiffel Tower, because me and the Mrs. took at least 100 of our images there.

Paris is for lovers. But also for avid picture-takers.
posted by twoleftfeet at 2:29 AM on March 20, 2011


I thought its skipping over really obvious public spaces was a plus. It made it feel a little more locally produced.
posted by honey-barbara at 5:23 AM on March 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


A true flaneur would not waste valuable time taking photos, but instead would focus all energy on enjoying the moment.

You can buy all the photos of Paris you could ever want at the airport. The time for sitting on a sidewalk café and enjoying a coffee and a smoke is all too limited to waste even one second of it assembling photographic proof to show your friends of the great time you thought you were having.
posted by three blind mice at 6:43 AM on March 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


three blind mice: you sound pretentious. And yet: not a shutterbug.
posted by IAmBroom at 7:10 AM on March 20, 2011


Very nice, thanks for sharing this. I had to cringe at the start with the bright lights of the damn tour boats travelling the Seine. Also the photos are a bit monument heavy, but I guess street scenes are difficult in a stop motion since so many people are moving.

phooey on three blind mice about Paris photos. It's a very beautiful city and while it's easy to take cliché postcard photos, there's a lot more to enjoy there too. Sometimes the camera helps you slow down and enjoy a place. Also sometimes you get lucky: I feel fortunate to have gotten this shot of nighttime traffic, for example.
posted by Nelson at 7:49 AM on March 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


three blind mice, Huh?
posted by Blasdelb at 8:18 AM on March 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


Nice, thanks for posting this. I've become a bit interested in time-lapse photography as of late, very cool to see what it's capable of.

Sometimes the camera helps you slow down and enjoy a place.
Agreed. That whole process of walking around and looking for that perfect shot is what got me into photography in the first place. It really gets you to look at your surroundings more closely and better appreciate what's there. Sure, anyone can go to a gift shop and buy some nice postcards, but you don't get that experience of trying to capture the moment.
posted by photo guy at 9:09 AM on March 20, 2011


In the NatGeo interview, the photographer talks about using Adobe After Effects. Does anyone have a sense how that software was used (trying to see if I could do this myself w/out AE)?
posted by Hypnotic Chick at 9:13 AM on March 20, 2011


Hypnotic Chick, there are lots of tools to assemble a sequence of images into a video clip. If you search on "time lapse ffmpeg" you'll come up with a command line tool that lets you do this. It'll take a little time on your part to figure out, but that's always the case: Personal knowledge vs spending the bucks on another tool to do this with.

Now I want to experiment with time lapse techniques in my little town, I think there's a bunch of stuff just about anywhere that, in conjunction with sunrise and sunset, could be amazingly videogenic.
posted by straw at 9:27 AM on March 20, 2011


Hi Straw,

Thanks for the response! I do own a consumer version of Sony Vegas, so I could put the images together. I was just wondering what AE was adding to this video. Apparently, the whole process is more intense than it seems:
"When capturing the images, I took them on specific, pre-calculated intervals of time and distance."
Didn't expect the need for math.
posted by Hypnotic Chick at 9:35 AM on March 20, 2011


@Hypnotic Chick:
"When capturing the images, I took them on specific, pre-calculated intervals of time and distance."
Didn't expect the need for math.
That's how he gets the motion to look so (generally) smooth. It's a bit wobbly in a couple of segments (there's a column he orbits and pans up at the same time, which is tough to do), but the part with the glass pyramid at the Louvre is near-perfect.

So, if you look at the glass pyramid segment and then think about what you'd need to do if you were on foot, say, to keep the camera pointed at the same spot on the pyramid as you moved past, and to do so smoothly, you should probably start to see why it involves some geometry and distance/time calculations.
posted by kcds at 9:50 AM on March 20, 2011


kcds,

I'd like to explore this a little further, if that's ok. Can you give me some insight on the distance/time calculations and the use of geometry? What pointers could you give me should I want to attempt this?

BTW, do you think that this needs to be shot at super small apertures in order to not struggle with focusing issues from having moved the camera?
posted by Hypnotic Chick at 10:08 AM on March 20, 2011


That pyramid shot is absolutely confounding. It doesn't look like he shifted the focal length even though he seems to be traveling in a straight line.

He seems to be closer to it while standing right in front of it, but the size of the pyramid in the image is basically the same throughout. You'd think this was done with a wider focal length, but I didn't detect expansion in the background. Color me confused.
posted by Hypnotic Chick at 10:17 AM on March 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


I think he's After Effects to stabilize the sequence. Since he's not shooting on dolly track, moving the camera from one point to another on a tripod can make for some jumpy video. He can stabilize away a lot of the jumps. This will also make for some very strange distortions and parallax shifts.
That said, nicely done. Paris is best a night.
posted by schmattakid at 1:08 PM on March 20, 2011


three blind mice: A true flaneur would not waste valuable time taking photos, but instead would focus all energy on enjoying the moment.

You can buy all the photos of Paris you could ever want at the airport. The time for sitting on a sidewalk café and enjoying a coffee and a smoke is all too limited to waste even one second of it assembling photographic proof to show your friends of the great time you thought you were having
Yeah, little newsflash Captain Enlightenment: there are sidewalk cafes all over the world. You can smoke and drink and people watch just about anywhere. The whole planet over, we all have the same symmetrical appearance, the same 46 chromosomes, we all sleep, and shit, and love, and fight, we all eat and talk and build and die. Something like language or architecture or food are interesting, but they are cosmetic differences anyway.

So why, pray tell, is it important to even sit at a sidewalk cafe in Paris? Just to showcase "Hey, look, I'm in fucking Paris?" The whole point of people, especially young people, going to places like Paris is to show off the impression that they are well traveled and therefore interesting. This can be accomplished through stories of how wonderful it was to "sit at a sidewalk cafe and enjoy a coffee and a smoke", as well as to show off the pictures. Travel like that is inherently superficial, selfish, and about glorifying one's life experiences.

The difference is, I find it really boring when people talk of traveling omigod to Paris as if by dint of being in Paris- or Budapest, or Rome, or India for god's sake- they somehow have experienced something richer, truer, and more meaningful than you could get on the streets of your hometown. By comparison, this movie was very cool and visually interesting.
posted by hincandenza at 2:14 PM on March 20, 2011


You can buy all the photos of Paris you could ever want at the airport.

They don't have any pictures of me, my family, and friends in Paris.
posted by pashdown at 2:40 PM on March 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


Photoshop dat shit.
posted by Arthur Phillips Jones Jr at 2:49 PM on March 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


That was a gorgeous project.
posted by Savannah at 6:32 PM on March 20, 2011


And here's one on New York
posted by melloscope at 6:46 PM on March 20, 2011


..and that was a double post - apologies.
posted by melloscope at 6:53 PM on March 20, 2011


Thank you for posting this. It has such beautifully smooth frame-by-frame motion.
posted by jwmollman at 7:41 PM on March 20, 2011


hincandenza - by that logic, why go anywhere, ever?
posted by ged at 2:47 PM on March 21, 2011


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