Over the past two years, Manchester, England based time-lapse photographer Paul Richardson traveled all across Europe, capturing some of its most famous landmarks in astonishing detail, using his Canon 6D, 7D and 5D3 cameras and a selection of high-end L series lenses. Richardson combined the results of his many sleepless nights in a 2-minute and 20-second time-lapse film, conveniently titled “Patience” saying he “couldn’t even begin to calculate how many hours of work [is] showcased in this piece.”
Resource Travel sat down with Richardson, and asked where his passion for time-lapse photography came from.
I was always interested in time-lapse, ever since seeing the film “Baraka.” And when I started seeing beautiful works of art popping up online, simply shot on DSLR’s, I realized the barrier to entry was actually quite low. I started practicing and soon shot my first own project, about my hometown of Manchester.
What would you advise aspiring time-lapse photographers, hoping to one day be able to do what you do?
Practice! Practice! Practice! It’s easy to learn the basics of time-lapse in a few hours, but it takes a lóng time to learn the intricate details of the craft. If you can, try to decide on a project. It will keep you motivated, giving you an end goal.
Your video is a +2 minute compilation of highlights. What would you consider the highlight of the highlights?
It would either be seeing the Northern Lights in Iceland, or the Milky Way in Wales. I love nature and being outside, so seeing such natural wonders was quite special.
If you take for example this video, how do you prepare for something like that?
A lot comes down to planning. Determine what you want to shoot and the theme, and then start location planning – I often use Google Maps and Panoramio to scout. Then calculate when you need to be somewhere to get the desired light, and reverse engineer your schedule to match.
How long does it take to shoot such a time-lapse video?
The Marriott video took about five days of shooting, plus another seven days of pre- and post production. Time-lapse is a never ending job – you can spend as much time as you want.
What’s left on your bucket list?
I’d love to shoot a feature length time-lapse movie, similar to “Baraka” or “Timescapes,” the sort of movie that makes you want to pack your bag and go travel the world. So if there’s anyone out there with a bunch of burning cash in their pocket: give me a shout!
How many pictures do you come home with?
After a day of shooting, I easily come home with 5,000 pictures. The Marriott video were about 20,000.
How much of the job is left after you take your last picture?
Quite a lot! Sometimes up to 50 percent! Organizing and processing all the footage takes a lot of time and can cause a lot of headaches, especially if you have to correct a lot of shaky shots. And then the edit will take as long as it takes. I could indefinitely tweak tiny things, but sometimes you just have to decide that’s been enough.