Category Archives: Photography

The NYC hyperlapse features some eye-popping details

I know, I know: as technically impressive as they may be, all these hyperlapse videos can get a little played out. But this piece from FilmSpektakel offers some fun details:

In particular:

Over the 10 days we took photos of yellow cabs whenever we had time to from as many different angles as possible. So we gathered 2000 (!) photos in total we had to sort afterwards and compile to a hyperlapse around a cab in post production. It took us 5 whole days in post production to get this one shot.

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[YouTube]

Quality, quantity, and how Instagram is evolving

Take a human desire,” says Twitter co-founder Evan Williams, “preferably one that has been around for a really long time…Identify that desire and use modern technology to take out steps.”

It’s interesting to think about this as Instagram’s identity has evolved in a “lol nothing matters” Snapchat world. (I initially typed “Snapshat”; Freudian?). Founder Kevin Systrom used to like to describe the product as “a visual walkie talkie,” but plainly that wasn’t true. As their head of product Kevin Weil said, “It became a place where people kept raising the bar on themselves in terms of the quality of what they had to achieve to post. We didn’t want that.” If you haven’t yet, listen to the This American Life episode about teenage girls’ Instagram anxiety referenced in “The Instagram lobster trap.”

Anyway, Instagram has found that lowering the bar—creating an impermanent, low-stress complement to one’s highlight reel—is key. They need bottom-up activity to make things work:

“Your connections with your friends and your family are the thing that make Instagram work. All the data supports that if you follow more friends and engage with your friends, your activity goes through the roof. If you just follow more celebrity content or more interest-based content, that doesn’t move the needle at all.” – Kevin Systrom, Instagram co-founder

You should read Benedict Evans’s observations (starts dry, but solid) about all this. Among them:

There are millions of people who will post beautiful pictures of coffee or 1960s office blocks, or like a photo by a celebrity, but there are billions who’ll share a snapshot of their lunch, beer, dog or child. Instagram is moving to capture that in the same way Messenger and WhatsApp captured chat.

Seriously, it’s worth the read.

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Come make a Mother’s Day movie with Google Photos

PM Tim Novikoff writes,

Starting today, people can go to photos.google.com/mothersday, pick a mom and kids, and then Google Photos does the rest. It automatically chooses the best photos of the mother and children, and sets it all to music to make a personalized movie. If you want to remove any of the photos or add others, you can make adjustments on Android or iOS.

Here’s the one I made for my mom featuring her grandsons:

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[YouTube]

Timelapse: A pilot’s-eye view of the Milky Way

This is rather glorious. Kottke writes,

Sales Wick is a pilot for SWISS and while working an overnight flight from Zurich to Sao Paulo, he filmed the first segment of the flight from basically the dashboard of the plane and made a timelapse video out of it. At that altitude, without a lot of light and atmospheric interference, the Milky Way is super vivid.

Make sure to stick around at least til the ~1:25 mark when other aircraft begin zooming past.

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New DJI goggles offer head-controlled drone flight

Yes, these things are a $499 (!) behemoth, but damn if they don’t seem kinda wonderful:

PetaPixel writes,

[T[he goggles aren’t just about showing you a FPV from your drone cam, they also turn your head into a motion control unit, adjusting the drone’s yaw and camera tilt as you look around. The combined experience is incredibly immersive…

In addition to letting you ride along “in the cockpit” as it were, the goggles also allow you to control the camera—set focus, take pictures, or start and stop recording. And if you use DJI’s newest intelligent Fixed-Wing Mode—”the aircraft doesn’t turn left or right but instead flies forward with enough rotational movement for realistic flight simulation”—you can let the drone do the flying while you look around, enjoy the view, and take pictures.

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[YouTube]