The Panama Canal Time-Lapsed Video is now also on You-Tube.

(The Vimeo version of the Panama Canal Time-Lapsed Video is still available on my 02-June-2011 post)

“Panama Canal: A Transit in Timelapse” is a multi-camera timelapse, created using sequential photography from 10 cameras at 8 different camera locations/angles onboard the passenger ship MV Explorer, for a total of over 5,500 photographs, pulled from 30,000 photographs during the 8-hour transit of the canal on May 8, 2011.

This timelapse was created as part of the Ultimate Travel Workshop II (UTW2) Central America & The Panama Canal: April 27 – May 17, 2011, a Nikonians Academy workshop operated by faculty member and workshop instructor Michael A. Mariant/M-Visuals in conjunction with the Institute for Shipboard Education’s Semester at Sea & Enrichment Voyage programs.

The eight camera position angles were scouted in advance, as well as mapping out the transit of the canal down into six different zones. Four cameras were shooting continuously in all six shooting zones for the entire 8-hour transit, while the other four camera positions were scripted for certain zones based on the storyboard and schedule.

Technical Specs:
• All cameras (a mix between Canon and Nikon DSLRs) operated on either internal or external interverlameter control.

• The forward (bow) facing camera and the aft (fish-eye) facing camera were shooting at 10-second intervals. The remaining side-facing cameras were shooting at 5-second intervals. This was due to the perceived perception of speed of objects coming towards/away from the camera (timed with greater intervals) versus side-motion perception of movement (timed with shorter intervals) to allow for a similar perceived perception of speed in the final multi-camera edit.

• All cameras were synchronized together via the camera’s internal clocks, to provide a simulated ‘timecode’, via the metadata, in the final edit.

• Exposure changes at each camera location (weather was a mix of clouds, rain and sun) during the 8-hour transit were timed to scripted camera cuts in the storyboard.

• All the photographs were sequenced in QuickTime Pro 7. Final edit/grading in Final Cut Studio.

“Panama Canal: A Transit in Timelapse”
All photographs, images and timelapse movies contained within this show/film are © Copyright 2011 UTW2 Copyright Collective. All Rights Reserved.

UTW2 Copyright Collective Members:
Jon Bloom
Albert Esschendal
Joan Hammond
David Hays
Richard Hulbert
Howard Ignatius
Jerry Kirkhart
David Mathre
Josef Smogursewski
Michael A. Mariant

M-Visuals is the acting representative of the UTW2 Copyright Collective

“Panama Canal: A Transit in TImelapse” is an M-Visuals Film,
produced and directed by Michael A. Mariant


Panama Canal Lock. Image Taken with a Leica X1 (ISO 100, 24 mm) (David J Mathre)

Author: David Mathre

I am a scientist by training (Eckerd College, BSc; Caltech, Ph.D.). I worked for 27 years as a Chemist in the Pharmaceutical Industry developing processes to manufacture medicines for human and animal health. I now spend my time as a photographer and world traveler. My interests in photography include the natural world, wildlife, landscapes, skyscapes, and seascapes. I have traveled to over 50 countries over the last 10 years, often on Semester at Sea voyages. While at home in New Jersey, I spend time on a home renovation project and expanding my wildflower garden/meadow.

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