Driving in Chennai: Timelapse

In time-lapse photography, it’s common to keep the camera pretty still and let the subject do the moving – or if at all, to move the camera very slowly.  But it can also be fun to do a moving camera time-lapse, especially when you want to convey something about the sometimes frantic (at least to a foreigner) nature of traffic in India.  To emphasize this aspect of traffic, rather than taking frequent photos to be able to blend movement together, it’s fun to space the individual shots out, and let gaps develop that your eye (and brain) can’t fill.  Because that’s sometimes what the traffic is like here – vehicles appear out of nowhere and then they’re suddenly gone again.  And while you want to hold the camera still, it’s not that critical, and the slight movement also mimics the potholes and bumps we encountered in real life.

I had posted this video a couple of days ago, but it occurred to me that it might be fun to add some music by Philip Glass.  Francis Ford Coppola uses this music in a very similar situation in his film “Powaqqatsi” – using timelapses to show the frantic pace of modern city life.  So yeah, that’s not real original.  For now, whoever owns the publishing rights to the song is not making a stink about me using it on YouTube.  We’ll see if it lasts.

Just for comparison, I also include similar timelapses I did in Windhoek, which has much less, more orderly traffic; and the Avenue of the Giants – basically just big trees and not a lot of cars.

Driving in Chennai

Driving in Windhoek

independence Avenue from Tom on Vimeo.

Avenue of the Giants

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