Einstein Meets Knock-Your-Socks-Off Boston TimeLapse or “Layer-Lapse”

by Hugh BrownstoneLeave a Comment

Self-taught filmmaker and Kessler Shooter Julian Tryba puts everything he knows about Boston timelapse into this well-deserved Vimeo Staff Pick.

Want to have your mind blown?

Watch this two minute and 38 second film. Your brain tells you something is amiss within this gorgeous time-lapse – but for most of us, it’s not until you read what Julian actually did that you can truly see it.

Concept (the theory of relativity) meets creativity and skill (Julian) meets gearfest (courtesy of Kessler University’s Kessler Shooter program) to produce a time lapse where different parts of the scenes move through time at different rates and times of day.

You can read how he did it here.

Way cool.

Boston TimeLapse (“Layer-Lapse)

Via Vimeo Description:

Traditional time-lapses are constrained by the idea that there is a single universal clock. In the spirit of Einstein's relativity theory, layer-lapses assign distinct clocks to any number of objects or regions in a scene. Each of these clocks may start at any point in time, and tick at any rate. The result is a visual time dilation effect known as layer-lapse.

Follow me:

To learn more about this project, my background, and my gear, please visit: kessleru.com/2014/10/what-drives-you
Motion Control: Kessler CineDrive kesslercrane.com

Technical Information:
Hours Spent Shooting~ 100
Hours Spent Editing~ 350
# of Drafts/Iterations~800
Photos Taken~ 150,000
Data~ 6TB
Avg # of Layers/clip ~35

Music: A big thanks to Alex Adair for making the song “Make Me Feel Better” and giving me permission to use it.

Programs: SpectraLayers Pro 2, Lightroom, After Effects, Photoshop, Excel, LRTimelapse, and Premier Pro

Cameras/lenses: Canon 6D, 7D, 16-35, 24-105, Tokina 11-16

Locations: Port of Boston, Hancock Tower, Memorial Drive, MIT Stata Center, Harborwalk, Wharf District Park, Chandler Plaza, Convention Center, North Point Park, State St., Boston Commons, Pier 4 (pier4boston.com/), Greenway, Customs Tower, Boston Harbor Hotel (bhh.com/), and Deer Island Park

Clips can be licensed and customized to other pieces of music, email me if you are interested: [email protected]

I’m aware of a couple photographers that have done similar work including Fong Qi Wei’s “Time in Motion” series which definitely influenced me, and Geoff Tompkinson’s “Chicago toccata & fugue”. If anyone is working on a similar style, please feel free to reach out to me, I’d love to exchange ideas.

“The past is not gone, and the future isn't non-existent; the past, the future, and present are all existing [now] in exactly the same way.” Max Tegmark

Boston Layer-Lapse – Tryba’s Capstone Project on Kessler University

Boston TimeLapse (
Boston Layer-Lapse image 2

Via Kessler University:

Pre-production and preparation are everything. Tryba, explaining his approach, “I have had the sequence setup in Premiere Pro for many months and it has been a matter of filling in the clips one by one. Before going on location, I decide which piece of the sequence I want to fill in. I like to listen to the few seconds of music I will edit that clip to. Then I head over to a map I have been working on that contains all the shooting locations in Boston I have in mind.”

Tryba knows what he’s after in the field, “I pick a location that parallels the vision I have for how I want to animate the clip to that piece of music; I also like to consider which shots are adjacent to the clip.”

Heading from location to location, Tryba gives himself as much time as possible, explaining, “I’ve learned it is always good to be early to shoots, having time to perfect a composition, or find a completely new shot, makes a huge difference… when I feel rushed and stressed I generally do not get the best shots.”

Boston Layer-Lapse image 3

Consistency, accuracy and repeatability are the foundations of incorporating motion into a layer-lapse. Shooters need tools and resources that allow them to move at the speed of thought rather than getting bogged down by gear. Tryba’s journey to find tools that would allow him to manifest his ambitious ideas eventually led him to CineDrive which helped him to focus on the creation of a piece as a whole.

“The CineDrive system is one of the fastest and precise motion control system available. Layer-lapses rely very heavily on repeatability which is one of CineDrive’s greatest strengths. The layer-lapse is achieved by doing the same exact motion control movement multiple times (5-10), so the more precise the motion control system, the better.”

A key feature of CineDrive that Tryba needed was “the ability to change the duration of a move, while still taking the same number of photos,” this allowed him to “incorporate multiple intervals into layer-lapses.” For instance, it allowed him the options for both “a long interval to capture a shadow moving, and then a quick interval right as the sun is setting,” all with the same pre-loaded movement.

Read more about Tryba’s Capstone Project

Note: it is our policy to give credit as well as deserved traffic to our news sources – so we don't repost the entire article – sorry, I know you want the juicy bits, but I feel it is only fair that their site get the traffic and besides, you just might make a new friend and find an advertiser that has something you've never seen before

(cover photo credit: snap from the video)

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