Life, seen through different lenses and at a different pace, is often a fascinating and literally eye-opening thing. All we need to do is look at existence at different speeds. Not on speed, mind you (sorry speed freaks), but rather through the dreamlike viewing glass of time-lapse photography. By slowing down the capture frame rate, we can view immense landscapes, like entire planets or the slow-moving things, like sea sponges, in lovely and stunning ways.
Here are five jaw-dropping short films that capture our world in a manner that should stop anyone with a beating heart in his or her tracks”
1. “The Mountain”
Sahara sands storms ripping across the Canary Islands. Mount Teide, the highest mountain in Spain, pushing its way into the atmosphere. Norwegian photographer Terje Sørgjerd expertly captures the Milky Way churning and turning in the night skies over these stark and beautiful islands.
2. “Everest — A Time-Lapse Short Film”
If bigger is better, then Elia Saikaly hit pay dirt — or at the very least a big pile of ice and snow — with his exquisitely shot time-lapse film on Mount Everest. From rolling clouds and glowing tents to light trails and the spinning heavens above, this short is a delightful, frozen treat.
3. “Enter Pyongyang”
From the splendor of nature, we descend into the peculiarities of humankind. “Enter Pyongyang” offers a rare and haunting peek into the clockwork behind North Korea’s reclusive capital. Sometimes the filmmakers speed things up, while other times they slow things down, all in order to give us a brief taste of life in Pyongyang.
4. “Slow Life”
And now for something much smaller, yet incredibly alluring. Macro photography brings the breathtakingly polychromatic world of sea sponges and other “slow-moving” marine animals to life. Daniel Stoupin spent many months hard at work in order to bring these incredible images to fruition. All you have to do is watch them on the biggest screen you can possibly find so you can enjoy the aquatic minutiae on display.
5. “Time-Lapse Earth”
From small life to all life on the planet, “Time-Lapse Earth,” shot aboard the International Space Station (ISS), brings it all home. Landforms and cities, as well as continents, fly by, some illuminated, some obscured by darkness and clouds, as the sun and stars stand watch over this tiny, delicate chunk of space rock.
Carl Pettit is a contributing journalist for TheBlot Magazine.