For all that we obsess with time, we simply cannot slow it down. And so seconds tick away, minutes become hours and years pass so quickly, it might as well have been just an instance. For me, it’s been exactly 3 years since I uploaded “Time Is Nothing”, a time lapse of my journey across 17 countries in 343 days. When I woke up on Jan 1st, 2012, I reached for my phone and saw over 200 new emails. Scrolling down, there was a mix of YouTube comments and messages from people I did not know. It took me a few moments to realize that my video had been shared by a few sites early in the morning, including one of my favorite blogs, Gizmodo. Quickly navigating to my YouTube page, I saw that the video had 301 views (which I later learned is where the counter stops when a video is getting a massive amount of views in short period of time for internal verification purposes). My video was going viral and what started out as a personal project and “slideshow” to share with my friends and family was being seen by people from all around the world. The next few days were truly exciting. Between requests for interviews and a growing number of LIKES on Facebook, I received some truly wonderful emails from people who thanked me for sharing a glimpse of the world with them. Some asked how I did it, others wanted to know where I was going next and I spent the better part of my day responding to every single email.
And then a recurring set of questions popped up. “Where’s Canada? Where’s India? Where’s Greece?” Some took on slight harsher and accusatory tones – “You went to Jordan and you didn’t go to Israel?” and my favorite, “Where’s Australia? I’m going to eat your baby.” Needless to say, I would have loved to have to been able to travel to the nearly 200 countries out there, but that would have taken a lot longer than the year I spent on the road. Still, these comments (which continue to be posted to this day) were right in line with what I was thinking when I was putting together the video. Where was Canada? I really need to go to India and I should go back to Australia to capture the beauty down under. So logically that’s what I began to do.
Instead of trying to look for a job back in the corporate world, I decided to become a full time photographer and use the flexibility in scheduling to continue my travels one country at a time. I dreamed about the places I’ve yet to see and put them down along with a slew of amazing activities in my Bucket List. And I went to work.
3 years on, I’ve managed to travel to another 15 countries and capture short time lapses in many of the locations I came across. Each trip was as incredible as the last and I kept delaying the process of putting together a second video to add JUST one more place. Always just one more that led to yet another. A few months ago, I decided it was time to draw the line and I began the process of going through over 10,000 photographs in Adobe Lightroom and editing each one as I would a normal landscape photograph. From there, I brought each sequence of 60-90 shots into Adobe After Effects to compile into short 2-3 second video clips that would go into Final Cut Pro for the final edit. The easy part was done.
Like the first video, it was important that I had a music track that helped to complement the images. After the success of our first collaboration, I decided to work with once more with my younger brother, William. I could not think of anyone more talented (except maybe Howard Shore and Michael Giacchino, but I can’t afford the composer for Lord of the Rings and Up).
I gave him my basic requirements, suggestions and set him to work while I started the long process of figuring out which scenes would go where. As I began whittling down the scenes and pooling groups of 3-4 together, the song with its strong cello theme also took shape. Even in their rough forms, when the music and images came together for the first time, I knew we were headed in the right direction. There was a special energy in the pacing and movement of each time lapse. With each completed section, I could find the perfect scenes to match the mood of the music and surprisingly, very little changed compared to the final version you see. There was just no place else the scene belonged than where it was. The final composition is called “Motions”, which you can now buy on Amazon or iTunes.
15 countries. USA. Canada. Mexico. England. Scotland. Germany. Denmark. United Arab Emirates. Qatar. Australia. New Zealand. India. Nepal. Nicaragua. Honduras. From high up in the Annapurna Circuit of Nepal down into the Waitomo caves of New Zealand. In the last 3 years, I’ve traveled over 80,000 miles and used 6286 photographs to complete “Time and Again”, my second in a series of time lapse to show the beauty of the world. On their own, every place has a story and together they make up a glimpse of my travels across our planet. If you’ve watched both videos, I’m sure you’ll notice one more than there are still many countries I’ve yet to show in one of the two videos. Rest assured that as long as I’m able, I will continue my travels and do my best to make sure you’ll see your country represented at some point.