A Time Lapse Video That Will Rock Your World

What does it take to be innovative? What can happen when you put your work out there and others see as innovative, or inspiring? Matthew Vandeputte, a photographer and film editor based in Sydney helps answer some of these questions. Yesterday he put out a fantastically well shot and edited motion lapse piece that I think raises the bar, and with 250,000 300,000 views in less than a day, also suggests others feel similarly. What does over 100,000 images look like over the course of 90 seconds? How did he put the piece together? Read on and find out with this exclusive Fstoppers interview.

Matthew’s reel only went live yesterday but the response has been incredible, far surpassing what he thought would happen.

I got a chance to grab a short while with him and get an idea of how he put the thing together. Even if you have no interest in shooting time or hyper lapse work, his responses are insightful.

Fstoppers: Can you give us an idea of the scale of the shooting/editing work you put into this. It's obviously extensive - how many photos and how long did the editing process take?

Matthew: In total I shot well over 100,000 photos, a lot of them didn't make the cut. Not because they were bad or anything, but because I was looking for sequences that fit really well together and I didn't want to reuse any of the stuff I had used in previous videos. It's all unreleased footage. After weeks of editing and reviewing and re-editing after input from friends and colleagues I finally finished my Motion Timelapse 2013 showreel, which is the video you see here today.

Fstoppers: The last year has seen hyper (motion) lapse really taking off. You've obviously been at it a while - what do you enjoy about it and where do you see it going in the future? Any thoughts or insights you can give on this?

Matthew: I enjoy hyper lapse photography so much because it's the same basic principle, you take a photo and wait a few seconds, then you compile that into video and you see cool stuff that you didn't know was happening. Hyper lapse takes that to the next level - you create movements that weren't possible before and you create a kind-of simulated 3D look using 'regular' 2D footage. I see more and more people doing it in the future, as the technique becomes more easily accessible by tutorials and so on. That's a good drive to keep on innovating and finding new techniques (take a close look at those star trails, they have never been done before).

Fstoppers:  You obviously spent a lot of time integrating the time lapse with music (the sun set, long exposures on the stars and so on, all work beautifully with the music). How important is the music for you when editing something like this? What's your process for selecting a music track and then sequencing your visuals?

Matthew: I can spend weeks looking for the right track. The music is what drives the edit and the rhythm. A lot of time lapse shooters and editors choose slow paced music, but I personally enjoy editing to electronic/glitchy music as you can add more movement on screen.

I try to think of what 'storyline' I want to tell. Do I start in a city, on a beach with a sunrise, do I start in the middle of the night and do a night to day and then back to night, and so on. That all depends on the amount of shots you have to work with of course! In the end I work pretty chronologically, so it's a challenge to choose the shots you want to have in the edit. There's only one sunrise per day!

Fstoppers:  Can you briefly mention the gear you shot this with

Matthew: Sure...

  • Canon 5D MkIII
  • Canon 600D/Rebel T3i
  • Canon 17-40L
  • Canon 24-105L
  • Canon 70-200L 2,8 IS II
  • Tokina 116
  • Yongnuo intervalometers
  • Magic Lantern Unified
  • Macbook Pro Retina
  • Manfrotto tripods
  • Seagate, Western Digital and Samsung 1TB mobile harddrives


Fstoppers: What sort of challenges did you come up against, either while shooting or in post work? Can you think any creative/interesting ways you got around these?

Matthew: The biggest challenges while shooting is seeing the scene change before your eyes and having to decide whether or not you'll break this sequence off and start a new one or if you keep rolling with the one you have! That's why I started shooting with two cameras at the same time! Regarding post-work, it's very important to keep a structured system on your hard drives. I think this past year I've offloaded footage to about 20 drives and keeping track of where the RAW files/edited RAWs/exported 4K sequences are kept is vitally important to guarantee that you won't lose any shots! Also, backing up is an absolute must! Whatever you do, in the end, a hard drive will die. You can not have important footage on only one drive!

Fstoppers: If someone wants to produce their own time lapse, could you please give an insight from your own learning and experience that would help them out.

Matthew: My biggest piece of advice is to go out shooting, look at how different your end result looks from what you expected and then go out shooting again. There's a lot of tutorials out there that can give you the basics, as soon as you have those it's up to you to go out and shoot, be creative and have fun!

Fstoppers: Where was this shot? Looks like you hit a few interesting locations on your travels!

Matthew: I shot in several cities (Stresa, Milan) in Italy, Masada and Jerusalem in Israel (which was not in the video as that was for a client), Antwerp in Belgium, Sydney, Penrith and Boomerang beach in Australia.


Regardless of whether you will be shooting hyper / time lapse or not, it goes to show how being organized, planning out what you intend to do with a project and then working like crazy to realize your vision, can really pay off. Special thanks to Matt for taking the time to answer some questions, and good luck with your next project.

To find out more about Matt and his work, you can check the links below:






David Geffin's picture

David is a full time photographer, videographer and video editor based in New York City. Fashion, portraiture and street photography are his areas of focus. He enjoys stills and motion work in equal measure, with a firm belief that a strong photographic eye will continue to help inform and drive the world of motion work.

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its good - for sure better than my (hyper)lapses - but did it rock my world? no, sorry.... a lapse that really rocked my world -> https://vimeo.com/63635193

an interview with this guy on his workflow would be highly appreciated :)

Sure the one featured here at fstoppers rocks, I think. But it can't keep up with the one you just posted here. Thanks for sharing :)


THAT.... was a time lapse. Holy freekin, he shot the heck outta that !

WOW! I concur.

you also might wanna try the rest of his lapses, they all are fraking awesome! especially "kuala lumpur day and night"

hi mps thank you for posting that link, i always appreciate being signposted to other cool work by others like you did here, cheers!


Not to be a naysayer but the composition and time lapse footage is of average quality, the thing this piece has going for it is the great soundtrack and editing.

It was good... really like the swirl on the astro stuff.. The quick change overs were just that though, QUICK.. Sometime too quick for a time lapse.

I never care for remixes of older songs.. I think they feel hacked and I'm just not a fan.