Dustin Farrell (planetDustin) just alerted us to “Mirror City” by Michael Shainblum – a truly amazing kaleidoscope timelapse of cities around the USA. This new treatment of timelapse will just blow you away! And I mean it! Sit down and watch it full screen and loud.
UPDATE: I sent Michael some questions and he’s provided some great background info… scroll all the way down to see the planet5D exclusive Q&A!
There are some incredible images and many are simple and you may figure out what city they are featuring like this:
But then there are also these stunning images where Michael has done such an amazing job of making art, the city may be impossible to distinguish! Maybe we should have a contest to see who can identify the most cities? HA!
Please also take a few minutes after you watch the video to see what Michael can do on his website – there are some more astounding astrophotographs there! Oh, and he’s recently had an image selected by the editors of 500px – check this out!
Mirror City Description
When I first started Mirror City, I wanted to create a video that was completely out of the norm. I wanted to showcase something unique and artistic, which takes Timelapse photography into a more abstract direction. Mirror City is a visual story through some of the great American cities: Chicago, San Francisco, San Diego, Las Vegas and Los Angeles. These clips were all processed from their original form, into the kaleidoscopic visuals that you see in this video. Many people visit these large cities every day, and all of these places have been shot and filmed, but I wanted to emulate these urban landscapes in a way that nobody has even seen before. I wanted to put man-made geometric shapes, mixed with elements of color and movement to create less of a structured video, and more of a plethora of visual stimulation. The video starts off with simple mirrors and recognizable architecture, as the video progresses, so does the visual stimulation, showing the real abstraction of the piece. I have worked on this piece for an extremely long amount of time. I have spent time mirroring images and videos for the past five years, and I felt it was time to combine Timelapse photography and the simplicity of a kaleidoscope, and create Mirror City.
(All clips are available in the original and mirrored format) For licensing & inquires please contact at Shainblumphoto@gmail.com
planet5D EXCLUSIVE behind the scenes
I sent some questions to Michael and he’s graciously responded…
ME: You’ve really stepped outside the norm of timelapses… in your description you said you’ve been working on this for 5 years. Was your original idea to do a kaleidoscope effect 5 years ago or did it evolve over time?
Michael: I have been mirroring images and video for a really long time, it has always been a certain stylistic choice in some of my abstract work. This project, however, has taken about 4-5 months to conceptualize and complete. The idea has been floating around for a long time in my head, it wasn’t until about 4 months ago when I made the idea an actual project.
ME: What kind of process do you have to select whether something is going to be a 2 shot or 4 shot or more mirror?
Michael: The shots all depend on the shapes and the content. Most of my dolly shots look better with a simple 2-4 mirror. But for a lot of the abstract imagery of lights and cars I wanted 8-16 mirrors even.
ME: Besides the gear listed, what kind of camera? What lenses?
Michael: I used Canon EOS 5D Mark III’s, Canon EOS 5D Mark II’s and a handy dandy Canon Rebel T2i. Lenses were 17-40 F/4, 16-35 F/2.8, 20 F/1.8, 14 F/2.8, 70-200 F/4, 70-200 F/2.8, 85 F/1.2, 85 F/1.8
ME: Did you wear out any cameras taking so many photos?
Michael: Surprisingly I have shot Timelapse for a long time and my cameras are still good as new (for the most part.)
ME: How’d you manage to get to each city? Has anyone made a contest to see who can name each one?
Michael: I live in San Diego, so most of the California cities I drove to and took trips. I took a flight out to shoot Chicago a while back (this was not planned for Mirror City). People have definitely tried to figure out which cities are which for some shots.
(cover photo credit: snap from the video)