Inspiring TimeLapse “Polar Night” – Life Above the Arctic Circle Plus Smoking Meteor!

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Found this on Facebook yesterday – it has just been shared on Vimeo but I was very inspired by Jan R Olsen's short. 

I've never been much north of Vermont so I can't imagine being so far north that the sun is gone for 2 months (not sure I could even handle it LOL). Not to mention that the older I get, the less I like the cold.

Jan says in the description this is his first time-lapse project – that's pretty amazing because “Polar Night” is very enjoyable for a ‘first.'

I also really like that it isn't just totally timelapse, there are good bits of video which give a change of pace and add to the emotion coming thru. And bless Jan's heart for sharing the music licensing info – makes me feel good that people are doing the right thing.

The other thing that I liked (and maybe others won't) is the pacing. I tend to think that much of what we do in film these days is edits that are too quick. You'll see in this short that Jan has inserted some very long clips… and I enjoyed that… gave me time to really absorb what was happening. What do you think? Too long?

Note that if you want to learn more about timelapse, we're doing a webinar with Ron Risman from live this Wednesday (register here – and if you can't make it, register anyway so you're notified of the replays!). We're giving away a couple of copies of LRTimelapse that Jan mentions too!


Smoking Meteors featured in 'Polar Night' - a short about life above the Arctic Circle Click To Tweet


I forgot to mention — have a look at 3:50 to see this crazy bright meteor and just seconds later the ‘smoke trail' left as it burned in the atmosphere! And it happens with 2 other meteors just after that!

Meteor in Polar Night

Meteor in Polar Night

Polar Night on Vimeo

Description from vimeo:

Every year in late November, above the Arctic Circle at 70˚ North, the sun disappears below the horizon and it does not reappear for almost two months

This period is called Polar Night. But even if the sun is gone, it is not totally dark. There is always some light during the day. Sometimes this light can be amazing, and you have to be there to understand how beautiful, strong and colorful it can be. But there are also days where the light is grey and colorless.

This is my first time-lapse project. As a still photographer I needed a new challenge. Since I live above the Polar Circle in Northern Norway, I choosed Polar Night as my theme. My goal was to show the beauty of the light in this period.

Taking around 80 000 images in total, I used around 25 000 images for this project in addition to the two minutes of film clips. All footage are shoot locally in the Lyngen Fjord area not more than 50 km from my home. I did this in the period of November and December 2015 and January 2016 unless two clips which is from the previous Polar Night.

Working with projects like this, let you know your equipment to the finest detail. I uses up to three Nikon cameras at the same time, with Nikon- and Nikonmountlenses. For the film clips I used a Sony camera. All sequences are shot static, unless three clips where I have used motion control systems.

I also had to learn some new software, which was the amazing LRTimelapse and for the final edit, Premiere Pro.

The soundtrack is «Immanuel» by Tony Anderson, licensed from the Music Bed.

No commercial use without permission.
For licensing e-mail me on jan(a)

(cover photo credit: snap from the video)


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