I started this year with a project I have been wanting to complete for some time – a show reel. I have been making time-lapse ever since this style of photography became popular. That has allowed me enough footage to pull together a show reel. It was made with the intention of being used as a ‘splash video’ on my homepage. Its aim was to inspire and showcases the breadth of my work and the technical understanding needed to create time-lapse. In less than a minute, you will see 27 clips flash by, some of which include my very best. It’s a little glitchy I know, but it is considered a modern production show reel and this appeals to me. I particularly like the tags in each segment which reinforce the message to compliment the visuals. You can see it below – I hope you like it. The show reel was made using a custom Adobe After Effects template.
Time-lapse showreel - Vimeo
On the same post-production theme, the clip above on the right shows a side-by-side comparison of a scene where I swapped out the night sky. Close to three years ago, I made my Mainland time-lapse after a month of travelling around the South Island of New Zealand. One area where many people want to shoot is Castle Hill in Canterbury. I got there late in the afternoon looking for the rock arch I had seen a number of year ago. Having found it, I shot the scene on a slider looking up at the sky, moving from left to right under the arch. Unfortunately, there was some light pollution under the clouds which I really did not want. In the weeks to follow, I painstakingly used masks in Adobe After Effects to cut in a new Milky Way scene I shot earlier. I made a small movie showing the scene before and after result. I made sure it looked real by testing it with others and I was pleased with the finished result. I cannot recall how many hours I put into it, but it was huge.
One of my goals this year is to try and use more storytelling in the way I shoot my time-lapse. Story-telling itself has become increasingly popular and a buzzword used by creative types. But do many of us know how to tell a story using clips and sequences? I don’t think so. It’s not as simple as you might think. Too many people jump into time-lapse with the thought of doing something “cool” but without thinking of how these sequences might be used to enhance a more significant story. A good time-lapse needs to be something more than an eclectic mix of scenes thrown together with a bit music. Watch this space.
Lastly, I wanted to touch briefly on my latest gadget. Having a drone means we as pilots are susceptible to GPS failures and fly-away incidents. I want to avoid this tragedy and researched the technology to help find it, just in case this type of event occurred. There are GPS trackers with SIM cards out there and they are fine if you’re in range of a cellular network, but often, I am not. So what I found was the ‘Marco Polo’. A small radio transmitter that sends a signal up to 2 miles (3.2 kms) to a handheld monitor that constantly searches and indicates how close the drone might be through the transmitter’s strength. The device was initially used to track a lost pet. So far, my fields tests have work well ! I just hope I never have to use it. Thanks for reading !
This year has been an outstanding one for me. The greatest achievement for me has come having been awarded the Panasonic Lumix 2017 New Zealand Geographic Photographer of The Year for time-lapse. It is the culmination of dedication, planning, and a lot of hard work. In some instances, it was spending whatever it costs just to get the shot with the sole aim of submitting my absolute best work. The awards night was special for me – it was my birthday and I could not have asked for a better present.
The New Zealand Geographic Photographer of the Year is the most prestigious of all photo competitions we have in New Zealand. “The exhibition is the work of the very best eyes in the country” says publisher, James Frankham. Some 3500 entries were received. Each year, the entries increase and the standard of work gets better and better. For me, that means lifting my game and striving to do something more than last time. The competition is tough. One thing is for sure, you can never predict what the judges are thinking. Time-lapse photographers constantly strive to do something different thereby setting the new benchmark. Not only with the camera and scene, but more so now in post production which involves enormous amounts of time in front of the computer.
The exhibition this year was something very special. Lifting the game to another level, the work is on show at the Auckland Museum until Sunday 25 February. Images are displayed on back-lit panels to reveal every stunning detail which really makes them ‘pop’. The dimly lit gallery shows the colour depth making this a first for the homegrown exhibition. All the time-lapses are stunningly displayed on 75-inch ultra high definition televisions which shows so much detail. It’s a bit like the awesome footage you see on the display TVs in the electronics showroom.
For the past two years, Wellington, the city where I live, has been overlooked as a venue to show the work of the country’s best photographers. I will be working hard with Wellington City Council and New Zealand Geographic to get this to the creative capital in 2018. Anyway, congratulations to all the finalists and my fellow time-lapsers. Here’s a slideshow from the awards night at the Auckland Museum.
My bragging rights extend to another time-lapse achievement this year, which I’m also proud of. I was fortunate to be selected as a finalist in the time-lapse category of the Photo Nightscape Awards, an international astrophotography competition hosted in France. What is also working well for me in 2017 has been the selling of my stock time-lapse footage having only started this a year ago. It’s always gratifying to check my email inbox and notice that a clip has just been sold. Some clips have sold more than once which gives me an indication of what footage is popular or in demand.
Lastly, a further achievement for me this year had been setting up this website to make my time-lapse work more prominent. There will be a few more functionality tweaks as time permits. I reckon this site is better than it has ever been. What do you think ? Your feedback is always welcome.
Thanks for visiting ! Come back throughout 2018 to be informed of upcoming projects.
I’m super pleased to become a finalist for the second consecutive year in New Zealand’s most prestigious annual photo competition. It comes with a lot of hard work so I must be doing something right, I guess. Each year, the competition gets harder and harder as time-lapse becomes increasingly popular. To get noticed, one really needs to be creative in the way their production comes together to tell a compelling story. No longer is it a show reel of your best work.
This time around, my planning goes back a year. While I did not get a place in 2016, it was great be a finalist alongside 5 other top entries from across the country. I was determined more than ever to get back with a place in the finals for 2017, and that has now become a reality.
This year, an entry I titled ‘Daily Grind’ made it through. Photographed around the shortest day, this time-lapse shows the daily grind of commuters travelling to and from their place of work in Auckland and Wellington, New Zealand.
Some clips allow us to see beyond the reflective windows when day becomes night. We can observe office staff busy at work and others engaged in social interaction. Similarly, the highways and streets become the lifeblood of the city. It’s a bit like looking into a giant ant farm.
Many of these scenes involved working with building managers and accommodation providers to get the unique point of view I aimed to achieve. I am grateful for their assistance.
There will only be 3 winners selected from the 6 finalists which will be announced on prize-giving night in Auckland on Wednesday 13 December, which coincidentally just happens to be my birthday. There will also be an exhibition starting off in Christchurch this weekend and later in Auckland. You can see my time-lapse and other entries on the New Zealand Geographic website here. My entry has a thumbnail image similar to that shown above near the bottom, so it should be obvious. Be sure to have some sound and PLEASE VOTE ON MY TIME-LAPSE – thank you !
I know that to keep visitors coming back to my website requires fresh content and regular blogs – something I have not been doing since the beginning of the year. Apologies to those who have noticed. I have been busy doing lots of time-lapse and preparing content for competitions.
One thing you may have noticed is the new look and feel of my site which uses a theme deliberately made for people who make video. My earlier site didn’t do much to showcase my time-lapse. So I built the new site myself. It needs a few more things done to it however. Let me know your thoughts in the comments section below.
If you follow me on Facebook and Instagram, you will see that I have been busy posting up new time-lapse content. I have been preparing a number of these for my annual entry in the time-lapse category for the New Zealand Geographic Photographer of The Year competition.
Here’s a few clips I hope you enjoy.
This time-lapse was a pinhole movie project based on the principle of the Camera Obscura. The apartment was completely…
In the last month, I’ve reached over 500 genuine followers on Instagram in the year I’ve been there. I say genuine as I know there are tricks and tools out there to fake your following. I’m keen to grow this to 5000 now, but I’m not sure what the secret is to make that happen. Maybe I just keep doing what I am doing – it seems to work.
I’m now starting to get some financial return for the sale of my time-lapses. At the beginning of the year, I loaded a number of time-lapse clips onto stock photography websites. The passive income adds up and it’s great when a notification comes through informing me of a sale. Some are small but some are quiet handsome too. In the space of 1 week, I sold 4 clips !
Lastly, one thing I am proud of is that my night sky time-lapse of the Milky Way over the Magnet trawler which ran aground in early 1989 on the Wairarapa Coast was selected as a finalist in the Photo NightScape Awards. It was great to be recognised among other top international photographers. You can see the entries here.
It’s 2017, and for me, that’s about planning how my photography endeavors will unfold throughout the coming year. Already, I have planned my shooting locations and when I will take leave. This year, I have trips planned for Central Otago, the Wairarapa, Auckland, and Hawaii.
One place I’ll be shooting from is solely about doing a time-lapse from one location. I intend to break new ground here for a time-lapse entry in this year’s NZ Geographic Photographer of the Year competition. My planning is already coming together but the success actually relies on secrecy, i.e., not divulging what it’s about, just in case the plan doesn’t come off. That way, expectations by those who watch and follow my work are not harmed and my competition is kept wondering. All will be revealed later this year, assuming I get selected.
When entering any competition, it’s about raising the bar and putting forward your absolute best work. For me, 2017 is all about giving it my best. Striving to do better than before and getting to more locations that have not yet been captured. Planning, research, familiarisation and reliable gear will generally make the shoot a lot more successful. And that’s just the camera work, not the post production.
Already, the year has got off to a good start with some good exposure (pardon the pun). Some accolades of late include a sunrise photo over Wellington city which was from a time-lapse shoot I did (see time-lapse bottom right). One frame from the sequence was on TVNZ weather. This was shot from the end of the Clyde Quay Apartments where I’ve taken some great images before. This location provides a great view over the city for a sunrise or sunset, particularly in the winter when the office lights define the buildings. The other shot (bottom left) was a photo photo from my drone camera taken in the Wairarapa. It was printed in Dominion Post being my entry for the Stuff Summer Photo Competition. Fingers crossed I win. Segway NZ also featured me in their newsletter this month where I used my Segway MiniPro with the DJI Phantom. You can see that story here.
On my to-do list for 2017 will be a further revamp of my new website. After some thinking and comparison, I’ve realised that my website does not make it obvious what type of photography I actually do. Not at least from a first glance. I specialise in time-lapse more than anything and my homepage does not portray that once you land there. I’ve seen better. People would naturally think I just shoot landscapes. There needs to be moving images, i.e. time-lapse to make it more obvious. Also, there needs to be something more than just photos to make you, the viewer, think that something is new or has changed since you last visited.
For some time now, I have had a number of my time lapse clips sitting on my hard drives. I have often thought that it’s time I put them up on 3 of the big stock photography websites to see if I can recoup some of the money I invest in my gear. It’s fortunate that I have not long got my fiber broadband connected because it’s been going day and night lately, uploading over 50 of my high resolution clips which have been titivated, tagged and titled. This has only just been completed and so it’s a matter of now sitting back and reaping the rewards while starting a new year and gathering more content to sell along side them.
On a separate matter, I’m really pleased to see my ‘Stephen Patience Photography’ Facebook page reach 1000 likes. It wasn’t that long ago when I got a 100 but ten times that tells me that people do enjoy seeing what I do. It really is annoying though when I get a number of what seem to be fake followers, mainly from Nigeria or around that region. Anyway, a big thanks to my dedicated followers and especially those who get this far down and read my blog. Be sure though to click below and follow me on Facebook, if you haven’t already. That way you’ll get to see more.
Another year is over ! I had hoped to get calendars made but I just didn’t have enough new images to put it together. There will be one for 2018 though. It will be a calendar jewel case like the one I did for 2016, although it will be A5 in size, a bit bigger than before and more attention grabbing.
I’m already planning my annual trips this year and my drone is going to be a big part of my content gathering. Some will even be for sale, if they’re good enough. I just have to remember that I have t fly it in the opposite direction to where my time lapse gear is shooting. 2017 will be a big year for me as I being to plan my ideas for a some entries in the NZ Geographic Photographer of the year competition. One thing I hope to get done in early 2017 is to complete my practical drone flying test to complete my wings certification through the Massey University School of Aviation.
I’d like to leave you with this clip below from a trip I did to Tauranga in November. With some spare time on a fine spring evening, I took a short walk up to the top of Mount Maunganui. I spent a lot of my teenage years growing up in the Bay of Plenty and it’s always good to race up the top of the ‘Mount’ and fill the lungs with sea air and take in the view. Take a look here at the time-lapse below which I did from late afternoon through to the evening. Enjoy !
Mount Maunganui – day-to-night time-lapseMount Maunganui, commonly known by locals as just The Mount, is an extinct volcanic cone at the end of a peninsula and the town of Mount Maunganui, by the eastern entrance to the Tauranga Harbour in New Zealand.
In my last blog, I mentioned that my time lapse had been selected as a finalist. This was my second year at entering, but the competition is high. Unfortunately, I did not get a placing. That’s fine. I was happy just being a finalist and that is something special in itself. Anything more would have been a bonus. I know that next year, I have to try and lift my game and and think outside of the box. Time -lapse artists are really pushing the boundaries and this raises the bar. I have a few ideas already, but they won’t come without a lot of work.
In the lead up to the prize giving night, it was great to see part of my time-lapse entry playing on national TV, namely Television New Zealand One News here. They showed a few seconds to show what’s up next, after the ads. How awesome is that ? Someone at TVNZ must have liked it.
Thanks to all those who took the time to vote for me for the People’s Choice award. You can see the results of the NZ Geographic 2016 Photographer of the Year competition here. I’ve also made a version of my time-lapse titled ‘New Zealand Land of light . . . and shadow’ which you can see below. After just a few days, it was trending at number 10 on Vimeo. For me, the music I selected epitomizes the essence of New Zealand.
I have talked before about my drone and aerial photography. There’s also an increase where visual content now shows both time-lapse and aerial footage. These styles of photography are very complimentary to each other. My current drone is hexa-copter and is large to transport around. For that reason, it hasn’t really seen much use. Seems camera drones are now getting smaller and more portable where the rotor arms can be folded away making them small compact and easier to carry. This opens up the boundaries of where photographers can go to get that rare footage, i.e., in the back country where some content hasn’t yet been captured.
I recently added the DJI Phantom 4 to my camera gear room. It came down in price and it was a great opportunity to get one and try out some of its great filming features. I’m particularly impressed with the intelligent filming features. These make it really easy to film great content with ease without having to be a pro-camera operator. With an upcoming practical flying test, I now need to get some practice in to actually fly it. I need to be competent to fly in various orientations and modes to complete my certification through the Massey University School of Aviation. No crashes yet though ! Anyway, here’s a few recent things I’ve done:
This urban city-scape was captured as part of a time-lapse over lower Queen Street in Auckland, New Zealand. I…
Lastly, I just wanted to let my followers know that I won’t be producing a calendar case like I’d made last year for 2016. Basically, I don’t have enough images that would be at the standard I’d usually incorporate. I have however ordered 100 A5 calendar jewel cases. These will look great for a production to be used in 2018.
I’m excited to announce that my latest time-lapse has been selected as a finalist in the annual New Zealand Geographic Photographer of the Year competition. This is considered the most prestigious photography competition in New Zealand having recently opened up a new category for time-lapse. Mine is among 5 other finalists.
I have titled my entry ‘New Zealand – Land of light and shadow. The time-lapse shows the contrasting change and the effect of light and shadow on the landscape. Many of the scenes were captured earlier this year in the giant Te Paki sand dunes in the far north of New Zealand and at Poolburn in Central Otago in the deep south.
Also observed are the effects of mother nature with changes in weather, the Milky Way, volcanic activity, and a rare display of the Aurora Australis. The scenes are not something we might typically see every day given their remote locations, harsh environments, or the frequency in which an event may happen.
Complimenting this beautiful scenery is some stunning music using traditional Maori instruments, namely the Kōauau, the most common of the Maori flutes. The track is ‘Waiora’ with music by Horomona Horo, composer and musician who plays the Kōauau accompanied by Rodger Cunningham on guitar. Horomona has very kindly allowed me to use his music.
Now it’s your turn to be the judge! I’d really appreciate you taking a moment to vote for my time-lapse in the People’s Choice Award. That would mean a lot to me. Follow these simple steps:
Click on my sand dune image below. It will take you to the NZ Geographic photographer of the year webpage
Look for a thumbnail of the same image among the others. It’s two-thirds down
A pop-up window will appear. Click to play and remember to have some volume !
At the end, and assuming you like it, please vote for my time-lapse by clicking the first of the 3 boxes which says ‘Click to add image’. As shown below, a thumbnail image will sit there as your first choice on the row
Close the pop-up-box. Vote for others you might like, but do make them your 2nd and 3rd choice
Your selection will be there next to a button that says ‘Vote Now’. Click on that ! A small pop-up window will prompt you to provide your email, but you don’t have to provide that if you enter ‘false’. Simply click ‘Submit Vote’. You’re almost all done !
Lastly, be in to win ! Share on Facebook when prompted immediately after your vote and tag me, or Stephen Patience Photography. Let me know you’ve done that and you will then go into a draw to win a one of 5 of my upcoming 2017 A5 desktop calendar cases available in early December. Thanks for voting! I greatly appreciate it.
Click here to vote and look for this image.
If you get the get the chance to go to Auckland or Christchurch in the coming months, be sure to see my time-lapse in full 4K ultra high definition on 55″ TVs in shipping containers at these locations:
Christchurch – Cathedral Square from September 3 to 18, open 10am to 5pm daily, including weekends.
Auckland – Karanga Plaza on Auckland’s waterfront (near North Wharf) and will be on site October 8–November 6, 10am to 5pm daily, including weekends.
In the meantime, there are some of the images from this time-lapse on my Facebook and Instagram channels – links below. Enjoy . . .
The months seem to tick on by so quickly and we’re now half way through the year. I find myself getting distracted a lot of the time, pushing back the things I have promised to complete months ago. Things just don’t happen as I plan them. It also doesn’t help when I get new toys like my Ninebot Mini by Segway. On a recent sunny afternoon, I took it around the Wellington waterfront and tested it for glide-cam filming. Here’s a small video on my Instagram page showing how that went .
I’m pleased to say that my Wellington production is coming along. I’ve been spending a lot of time synchronising various clips to the music and also working out how to do some kaleidoscope effects. It’s rather fiddly and that’s where the time goes, but the effects are very cool. It’s rewarding when when I finally accomplish my goal. Here’s a few clips from the production.
I’m making progress with my new Wellington flow-motion time lapse. Here’s another sequence – this one includes some…
I’m off to Central Otago for 5 days in early July. The weather is good so that I can capture some great winter scenes to add to my latest time lapse collection of landscapes. In my last blog, I complained about lugging heavy gear. But I’ve since sold that for something more light-weight.
I’m also super excited to do a new day-to-night evening shoot here in Wellington City from the State Insurance Tower looking directly down Lambton Quay over the rush hour. This will be about mid-July. It’s great to be rewarded with a ‘yes’ when I go into building asking for permission from tenants. I can’t wait to make that happen in July, but I know I have to get it right first time without any light reflection in the glass. It’s going to be a technical shoot which I expect will be quiet hard to accomplish. I’ll do some practice in the office building where I currently work to ensure it goes smoothly.
I’ve been away in Fiji over Queens Birthday weekend shooting a wedding for a friend from way back. I’ve moved away from photographing weddings, but this was one-off special. It’s very difficult trying to a get a perfect shot when a special moment happens so quickly. The moment can be easily lost if you’re finger is not on the shutter, the auto focus is not fast enough, or there’s poor light and a low shutter speed which causes unwanted blur. What made this wedding a little more challenging for me was the bride’s desire to have me do some video footage too. I look forward to making the movie which will be a fusion of their favorite wedding photos and video clips squeezed into a 4 minute video, overlaid with their favorite song. I hope to make that available on here, with their permission soon.
I’m not long back from a two week road trip around the North Island of New Zealand. Like last year, I planned a photo trip to a number of special locations I wanted to get to which featured on my shoot list.
I based myself at my parents bach near Taupo being central to all directions of the compass. The aim was to go to wherever the weather was good. I traveled to the Wairarapa, North Cape, Auckland, Taranaki, and the Central Plateau. I had high expectations that I’d get some great time-lapses, but that was not to be.
To be honest, I’m a bit of a purist when it comes to shooting my time-lapse scenes. I like them to be pristine and largely free from people and not too much evidence of civilisation. My frustrations mount when:
people and other photographers step into my scene when my camera and time lapse gear is quietly firing away;
four-wheel drive vehicles come out at night and spoil the night shoot, leaving vehicle tracks in the sand;
sand-flies crawl over the lens and filters spoiling a number of frames;
technology issues setting up my gear at the crucial time when the light is changing;
lugging heavy gear for hours to get to a scene;
forgetting crucial pieces of gear and realising you’ve left them back in the car; and
rubbish weather – wind, rain, and uneventful skies.
I feel like I need a PHD to operate my gear sometimes, or undergo an annual refresher course to re-familiarise myself with the technology before I head out. I do this sometimes, but the main issue this year is that many locations these days are ‘popularised’. Photos on the web or shown on social media means others want to go to these places too, just to get the same shot. This was the case at Mt. Taranaki. Before I knew it, up to 6 people were standing next to me.
The challenge for me now is to re-think my gear so that I have something that’s lighter than what I currently have. It needs to be easy, reliable and quick to set up when I arrive at the scene. Time-lapse has become very popular now and gear is getting better each and every year. Here’s a few ‘lessons learned’ from this year’s trip:
Sunrise is a better time to shoot as opposed to sunset – most people are still in bed (easier said than done as like my sleep);
Research and invest in lighter gear (I’m already in debt and have lot’s gear that’s quickly becoming redundant);
Rather than shoot popular ‘iconic’ spots, plan to trek to more remote and interesting locations that most people are not likely to get to (i’m not getting any fitter in my old age).
Despite all my first-world problems, I thought I’d leave you with these few shots from my trip. There are more to come. They’ll be used in a time lapse which I think will be published later this year. Enjoy.
T W I L I G H T D U N E S
The giant dunes in the far north of New Zealand’s North Island provide some awesome…