The 30-Year Time-Lapse Project of New York City

A photographer designed a long-term time-lapse system to capture the evolution of the Big Apple over the next 30 years.
For Joseph DiGiovanna, having a nice view of New York City was not an option when he searched for an apartment; it was a mandatory requirement for a project that would keep him busy for the next 30 years. The New Jersey photographer finally settled for a unit in Weehawken next to the Hudson River. This is where he started his ultra-long time-lapse project in 2015. Four years later, he already gathered more than 4.2 million pictures using a 30-second interval (36 GB per day). But this unusual time-lapse requires a custom build system. The now completely automated rig relies on a small Arduino controller tethered to a Sony a7S. So far, this camera still works after all those years of intensive labor thanks to the absence of moving parts (using electronic shutter).

In this YouTube video, Mr. DiGiovanna explain his vision, the nature of the project and the challenges he has to overcome to finish this endeavor. He also details his workflow and the software used to finalize the video sequence. Ideally, he wants to expand his vantage point and place other cameras in the city. I'm curious to see the result in 2045.

Oliver Kmia's picture

Oliver Kmia is specialized in time-lapse, hyperlapse, and aerial videography. He also works with several drone manufacturers as a marketing and technical consultant. He is the lead brand ambassador of Hello Kitty camera, his favorite piece of equipment. Most people think Oliver is an idiot and they are probably right.

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What an amazing project, hope Western Digital will collaborate :)

Like someone doing their thesis for their doctorate, I hope he backs up in multiple locations. Sounds like an exciting project!

This assumes we'll still be here in 30 years...

Someone get that man a raid setup and for all that is holy an offsite backup to. That's a disaster waiting to happen ;(