Aerial Arterial: A Magnificent View of Tokyo from Above

by planetMitch2 Comments

A beautifully shot time-lapse was sent in by the creator Justin Tierney. 

Hi guys, I often return to planet5D for inspiration –for time-lapses related posts.  Perhaps, if it's to your liking, you would consider sharing my newest time-lapse project

I was very impressed so we're helping everyone like Justin who's inspired by others. And we're thrilled to be able to share.

One question i'm always asking is what about the music? Did the creator license it? Well in this case, Justin WROTE and PLAYED the music! Now how's that for creativity?

Aerial Arterial—Tokyo From Above (At The CONFLUX Part One)

From Justin Tierney:

It's called Arterial Arterial. It presents Tokyo from above. Its sprawling nocturnal cityscapes crisscrossed by thruways. It begins with shots atop the world's tallest tower—the Tokyo Skytree—with the expanses of the urban grid illuminated by headlights below. We end closer to the concrete with dizzying loops traced by traffic.

In between these poles, the massive fiery-hued highways pulse through the wards of Minato and Shinjuku, like veins circulating blood. The towering skyscrapers watch over all, unmoved—soaring sentinels of steel and glass. Not a soul is seen. Only machines.

The music is minimal. The images need space to breath. Tender Japanese flavored chords are accompanied by street beeps, night noises and satellite hums. After all, in the metropolis, the crickets are replaced by singing machinery.

This is an ode to edifices of the great eastern capital. To its atmosphere and infrastructure. A static lullaby for a city on stilts.

I shot this in two trips to Tokyo. In May and June of both 2014 and 2015. Editing began in earnest in November of 2015 along with the composition of the music. I recorded the solo piano part in April at SoundPure studios in Durham, NC with the help of recording engineer, Artem Smirnov.

Aerial Arterial 3

Film Still (see more at

Aerial Arterial 2

Film Still (see more at

Aerial Arterial 1

Film Still (see more at

The time-lapses were shot in raw (with a 5D Mark III and a Sony A7s) developed in Lightroom, and edited in Adobe Premiere Pro CC. I composed the music at the piano with paper and pencil, input it into Finale 2014, recorded the music into Pro Tools in two separate recording sessions, added material with Ableton and Max MSP, and did the final edits in Adobe Audition and in Premiere.

Complete gear and location lists can be found at

(cover photo credit: snap from video)


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