Our guest in this episode is world-renowned film maker and photographer Michael Shainblum. I invited Michael on to the podcast to ask him all about his stunning NYC time-lapse video, and how he captured the essence of the city so effectively in it.

Over the course of our conversation Michael shared some great insights into his technical and creative process and offered tips and advice for anyone wanting to try time-lapse photography for themselves.


MastersOfVisuals.com – The ultimate time-lapse photography masterclass, by Michael Shainblum

ShainblumPhoto.com – Visit Michaels website for articles, videos, tutorials, workshops and more

Follow Michael Shainblum on:

Talking Points

  • Michael's main goal when creating time-laspe videos
  • How Michael captured the feeling of the city in his NYC time-lapse
  • How the entire video was built around one scene and Michael created a progression to build towards it
  • What it was like trying to film all around NYC and 1 World Trade
  • The #1 most important thing every new piece must have before Michael puts it out into the world
  • What kind of motion works best for time-lapse
  • What kind of scenes work best
  • How time-lapse allows you to see things you weren't noticing in person
  • What equipment do you need to get started with time-lapse
  • What should you focus on when creating time-lapse videos for the first time
  • The most important thing to get right in your time-lapse videos
  • Tips for getting started with sunset/sunrise time-lapse transitions without needing extra gear

Michael's NYC Time-Lapse Video

Michael's Photography

As well as being on the forefront of time-lapse photography, Michael also happens to be one of my favourite still photographers too – here are some of his incredible images from Instagram


This episode is sponsored by your host, Steve Arnold. Learn Photoshop with Steve via his online courses at Photo Mastery Club

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Further Resources

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Transcript (Click to reveal)

This transcript was generated automatically, so may (actually – definitely will) contain the odd mistake or two. Therefore it's probably best to be used as a reference after listening to the episode, should you want to refer to something you heard but can't remember exactly when it was said 🙂

Steve Arnold 0:26
Michael Shainblum, welcome to the podcast. Thanks very much for coming on.

Michael Shainblum 1:43
Hello, thanks so much for having me. Happy to be here.

Steve Arnold 1:46
Yeah, that's, that's great. I really appreciate you coming on and sharing your expertise with the audience. I feel Yeah, I feel like there's heaps of stuff that I want to ask you today but I think for the purpose of this particular episode, We're gonna focus on time lapse. And actually just a quick funny story before we before we sort of dig into the conversation. We recently had fiber optic broadband installed in our house like maybe a month ago. And so, up until then I couldn't stream any 4k content. And as soon as as soon as we have that installed, that was the first thing I wanted to put on the big TV in the living room is, you know, that 4k time lapse of New York City, which I just absolutely love. I want to talk a bit more about that. But first of all, when did you first realize that time lapse was something that you wanted to spend a lot of time getting into? And you know, what did you find most interesting about it?

Michael Shainblum 2:43
For sure, well, no, thank you so much For the for the kind words on that New York time lapse, that's one of my favorites as well. That one took me a while to do and, and yeah, that's one of the time lapse videos I'm more proud of, I would say as far as getting In time lapse photography, I did it by accident. Kind of I've told the story a few times, but I'll, it's, it's kind of an interesting one. So doing time lapse photography was a solution to a really random problem that I had, which was I wanted to get into making videos, but I couldn't afford a video camera. At the time, you know, cell phones didn't do video, and like a video camera was not even remotely affordable. But I did have a little picture camera. And I realized, well, you know, video all video is is a bunch of pictures right? laid back pretty quickly. 24 frames per second or 30 frames per second. So I was like, Well, if a video is just a bunch of pictures, couldn't I just take a bunch of pictures and that would essentially make a video clip and I knew obviously, you can't take that many people That quickly. But, you know, I saw interesting things happening outside my house in my suburban San Diego neighborhood like billowing clouds and sunsets and friends skateboarding and so I would just click, click pictures, and then put them into I can't remember what the video editing software was, it was whatever came with my PC, I think, or maybe it was iMovie It was either iMovie or whatever the Windows Movie Maker was, and I would make like slideshows of the pictures and and condense them. So they looked like stop motion. So it wasn't really time lapse. It was it was kind of time lapse, but it was more stop motion. And that was sort of my intro into time lapse and then I started getting into it, because I realized it was really fun to see how things would move in. When they're sped up like that noticing things in these clips and these time lapses that I wasn't noticing in person I found that really interesting. So boats moving around quickly cars people, I started getting really interested in that and dove in more at the end of high school, here in there. And then in college is when I made my first You know, I've spent months making a time lapse video with a motion controlled slider and that was like my first I consider that kind of like my first time lapse video and that was I think, 2010 or 11 2010 or 11, one of those years.

Steve Arnold 5:33
So obviously, movement is a big factor in creating a time lapse. But when you're looking at a scene and deciding, you know if this is going to be a potential hit or miss like what what specifically, you know, there are elements that you're looking for, apart from just general movement.

Michael Shainblum 5:52
Certain movement tends to look better in time lapse than other movements, movements that are a little bit more Smooth, or flowy, or there's some sort of progression to the movement. So an example of that, like one thing that looks really bad in time lapse or usually looks bad, depending on the shot is waves. So if you're sitting right next to the ocean and you have the waves crashing, each wave there, they move super quickly, and each wave is different. And so you can slow down your shutter speed, but even a slow shutter speed on waves can look kind of choppy, unless you're really doing long exposures for it. But the one thing that can look cool is if you're high above the waves on a cliff and you're looking down at the motion, and suddenly looking down at the motion, the motions a little bit slower, more smooth. And since you can't see each individual wave particle crashing, you know really quickly in front of you. Suddenly that motion becomes a little bit more fluid to look at in a time lapse. So I'm looking at things like that I'm looking at how choppy is the most And if I do slow down that shutter, how can I simplify the motion? Or can I simplify the motion? That those would be the things I'd look for. There's a lot of things in motion that just aren't going to work well for time lapse. And what's funny is usually if the that motion doesn't look good for a time lapse, it's gonna look good for slow motion.

So, yeah, it's just a just a few things to look at there. Yeah.

Steve Arnold 7:26
Yeah, no, it's interesting. So do you think do you think that the way you photograph time lapses has affected your still photography as well? Do you think it's kind of had an impact on how you look at things?

Michael Shainblum 7:40
Interesting. You know, what I think is probably the opposite. I think how I look at still photography probably impacts the time lapses more than the time lapses impact. The still photography because, you know, I'm still doing I'm still applying the same rules of welding Not really rules but you know techniques for composition and lighting and subject and just all that stuff. So, you know, I'm taking all those things that I'm using for still photography and I'm applying that to time lapse. I don't know if it really reverses too much. I do a lot of long exposure photography and maybe because you can achieve a passage of time similar to time lapse, but I don't think Yeah, I don't think time lapse has really shifted my steelwork or influenced it that much. I do think the opposite though. You know, when I first got started shooting time lapse and photography, I don't think my compositions were very good, but they shouldn't have been good. They weren't supposed to be good. Yeah. You know, I just got started. It took years to figure out what I wanted. And I think it took figure years to figure out not necessarily what I wanted to say with photography, but how I was how I was gonna say it. composition. So it's something I'm still working on. And I hope I hope I never reach a point where I'm not working on it, because that's the point where I'm probably going to quit photography. But I, again, I don't think that's going to happen.

Steve Arnold 9:10
Show so yeah, so you mentioned like having something to say, with your photography and with your time lapse like, do you have like, dollar commission? I'm trying to find the word but you know, have you got like something that you're sort of working towards like a, you know, statement as such?

Michael Shainblum 9:27
Yeah, so it's kind of shifted a little bit over the years.

I think the first create I think when I first started taking pictures, I didn't have any clue why. Besides the fact that I it was fun. And to a certain extent, I still feel like that I still do it because it's fun. Because it's the thing that brings me happiness in life is is creating things. I never really dove in further into why that is. And I think I realized over time, the Reason why creating art brings me so much happiness and is so meaningful for me is because it's the way I've been able to express myself best over the course of my life ever been super great at sports. Never been good in academia. So for me, art was always the way I could get out all my thoughts and all my ideas and just express myself. And you know, it's funny, as in high school, when I was getting into photography, I was also doing a lot of painting, sculpting animation, and it was all really fun. I didn't have any sort of statement of what I wanted to do. I was just doing it because it was a blast. I've tried to, I've tried to keep some of that now. And it's helped me to keep things fresh and keep exploring new ideas and not get bottled into just shooting one thing. But I definitely I would say my main goal in anything I create my art is to just showcase the world and my little ideas and put my little spin on it through the compositions. And let's say I was doing a film through the the sounds and the visuals. There's not like a truly deep artistic statement more than I'm just trying to capture, not necessarily what I see, like it is what I see. But more what I feel when I'm exploring this planet and seeing all the cool things there are to offer. And that's from something as big as you know, the dolomite mountains in Italy or something as small as little particles going off of off of the little waterfall. So, you know,

Steve Arnold 11:49
yeah, I think for me, you know, that sort of leads into the time lapse from New York City nicely because for me, it was as much about the feeling that I got when I was watching that, just instantly sentimental, you know, I visited 18 years ago and just instantly fell in love, I think maybe, you know, through the fact that Ghostbusters was my favorite childhood movie and you know, just so deeply kind of saturated in New York landmarks and the city and the feeling of the place and so, you know, when you when you set out to create that, that video, I saw your video on YouTube where you did a bit of a kind of retrospective on it. And you mentioned, you know, multiple visits, and you know, you went back to do to redo certain sections. For me the end result you've captured the essence of the city, so Well, thank you. So when you were going through that process of you know, recording segments and maybe deciding this one didn't quite make it. You know what, what are you looking for, and how Did you? Yeah. How did you manage to capture the essence and what were you looking forward to the side? You know, maybe I've got to redo this part. And you know,

Unknown Speaker 13:09
I think

Michael Shainblum 13:10
so I guess I'll rewind a little bit to Yeah. So and you and you watch my little behind the scenes video on that, which is cool. Yeah, that that was the whole reason I made that video is because it New York City was one of the cities that inspired me to kind of get into photography in general. I took a trip there when I was in middle school, and I just really fell in love with the city and I remember I was so small and so I just didn't know what was going on. So these towering concrete like that's what I remember. I remember being so small and seeing just these towering monoliths of buildings around me and and all this action so much action. Everything was happening. And and that's what I wanted to convey in the video. is is that sense of excitement that I had when I was a kid when I visited the first time but also and you'll notice as the video like for the video, I started out where it's it's very quiet. And the scenes are very subtle, and we're kind of outside the city. And that's kind of the new perspective that I gained by going back to the city is looking at it from the outside a little bit more than I did when I was a kid when I was just, I felt so small and I was just, you know, with these towering buildings, so I wanted this progression of being outside the city, it being a little bit more quiet, a little bit more subtle. And then as the song ramps up, and as the footage ramps up, you get more and more intensity and then you're really just in the action. So I'm, I guess when I was working on the video, I wanted to feel like you're and I know it's not it's not a narrative piece by any means, but I wanted to feel like there was some sort of progression through the city. And through all these landmarks and and and and then obviously as the song well yeah as the song hits a certain point it goes to the memorial for the World Trade Center, not the one in New York because I was unable to film there I have some funny stories about trying to film there actually had a permit to film there and they still, it was really it was a weird situation but the it was the one in New Jersey and I'm actually glad I did that because I love how you see the names on the wall walls as the song slows down. And then it reveals the new one world trade in the background. So I thought that was a fun element to the video. And the thing about that scene that that scene I structured the whole video around that scene. I really wanted that to be the main piece of the video is everything leading up to this shot of the memorial. One World Trade in the background.

Steve Arnold 16:03
Yep. So you had that kind of planned out from the start and then sort of building everything around that scene. Did you have the song?

Michael Shainblum 16:12
Yeah, the song A. I picked this up that was for my friend James Everingham. He's super talented musician. And I had that song picked out in 2016. So when I got back from New York, I had enough footage to probably make a video in 2016 that really didn't take me until I think I released it was the end of 2018, early 2019. Just one of those. It took me a while to figure out exactly what I wanted to do with the video. And so I'm just constantly piecing things around this memorial shot and adding more to the progression so having these slower shots in the beginning and having the footage ramp up and I was trying to find a variety of shots to I wanted some during the day, some at night, some at sunset. At sunrise, so it's kind of a balancing act since you don't have narrative. Since you don't have the narration in there, you have to figure out what flows visually with the song. So sometimes it's about just piecing the clips together and moving them in different positions to find what actually works.

Steve Arnold 17:18
You mentioned, you know, not being able to film at one world trade was that was was that kind of like a common thing as you were shooting around the city? Or was it just specifically that location? Like was it quite easy? Otherwise?

Michael Shainblum 17:32
Yeah, you know, some of what we were doing was commercial. So we were doing we got permits to film on what was it Time Square Times Square for one night? And then for a few other locations? Yeah, you know, I didn't really get harassed too much filming the personal scenes around the city, although the One World Trade one. So we had permits for because they wanted to shot specifically for the Oculus for this one shoot. And then I wanted to go out and get the memorial shot, which is outside the Oculus, but the permit for the Oculus, I guess didn't fly for that. What's funny, okay, so yeah, I guess looking back on it's like, yeah, I didn't have a permit for that. Exactly. But that was a personal shot that I wanted to do. What's funny is I did actually start setting up shot. I got permission from one of the security people to do the shot. And then somebody else came up and said, we couldn't do the shot. And then we said, but they said we could do the shot and then they and then they said, Okay, I need to go talk to a supervisor. The supervisor, then went and came out and said, we could do the shot and then someone else came out And said you can't do it. I swear this is this all happened is like four different four or five different people came out and the fight at at. And then we talked to the fourth person we're like, we've had like two people tell us we could do this like and, and the person was like those people don't matter. You can't do the shot. I'm telling you you can't I was like, Okay, I guess this you're the person that really says that we can't do it. I think it's all security reasons. Mostly. I understand that. But yeah, it was a bummer because I had the shop setup and it was running. And, and it was almost It was like halfway through two. And then I was like, Okay, I'm going to break it down. And that person was that person was really not that person was not being very nice. I was like, okay, fine, I'll break it down. So I started to break it down. And they were like, No, you need to move all this like I had my slider set up and stuff and was like, What do you mean, when breaking down? It's like you need to move on. So we we had to lug like it while it's still running off of the property. Like they wouldn't even let us Break it down and put it in our backpacks that really you need to move. Now, that was the only issue we had ever, every other time. It was fine. I felt safe in New York, too, which was, which was nice. Like, people were pretty cautious. They weren't running into my gear. I mean, obviously, I wasn't putting my gear in the middle of where people are trying to go, but at most I got some people who are curious and just wanted to see what I was doing. And, you know, it was pretty funny.

Steve Arnold 20:30
When you have that big rig set up, I guess people assume that it's like maybe a movies going on or something.

Michael Shainblum 20:36
Yeah, it's, some people think it's like a big movie. Which is funny because the gear used in movies is so much bigger and you know, you have a huge crew. But yeah, it's fun to have a little time lapse robot out. I don't really like it's because most of the time I try and I'm not a huge fan of the attention. I kind of like to fly under the radar and just That's most of my life is I don't really like a great deal of attention. But you know, if somebody's curious about the setup, I'm always happy to, to share it. And they're always like, Whoa, where can I see the footage after? And I'm like, you'll probably see it and five years from now, when I finally get around to putting out the video.

Steve Arnold 21:19
Have you got any projects that you know you've been working on for a long time and just haven't got around to completing it?

Michael Shainblum 21:27
Yeah, tons.

Let's see, I've got a New Zealand time lapse that I'm working on and super excited about that one, really, that that one the the bottleneck has just been finding a proper song. I really wanted to use Lord of the Rings music. But I tried talking to every person I possibly could. And they said there is literally no way you're going to be able to license any music from Lord of the Rings. It is not possible. And then I thought, well, maybe I could Just use the song. I don't know. I I always license music from artists before I put it on YouTube but like, I don't know for cinema for for cinematic movies like that. Is it different than a musician? I don't know. Anyways, I wasn't able to license that song. So I'm still trying to find one for that one. Then other time lapse I've got one from the southwest that I want to put out. That one's almost an hour an Oregon time lapse. San Francisco. There's a few. There's a few in the works. I just have to work out the final touches and make sure everything's good on them.

Steve Arnold 22:38
Yeah, let's first to look forward to I think I saw a time lapse from Milford Sound that you've got on YouTube. Am I remembering that correctly? Yeah. So is that like a segment from from Europe? Yeah. Upcoming larger. So project. Yeah, that'll be

Michael Shainblum 22:56
that'll be in the time. The final time lapse piece and actually A lot of the time lapses that will be in the final were in the vlogs that I did. So I did add three, no four vlogs from New Zealand and I did share not all of them, but a number of the time lapse that are going to be in the new new video. And initially, I really wanted to put out that time lapse right after the vlogs I wanted to share the vlogs then put out the time lapse film and then I realized the time lapse isn't done and then it took me months and months and months and months now. I'm like, it's been over a year and I'm just like, I still don't have the time lapse out. Oh, yeah, I remember seeing those vlogs A while ago for the for this time lapse. Why didn't you release it then?

Steve Arnold 23:41
Yeah, I guess. I guess it's kind of funny, kind of parallel, you know, with with a time lapse, you're taking a long period and condensing it into a short video. And now actually the production of that is is going the opposite way. You know, so you've got Yeah, you've got some footage that you recorded over Have a few days, which is now taking, you know, a year plus to to process and get out into the world.

Michael Shainblum 24:06
Yeah, you know, it definitely takes a long time to film but the whole

it takes a while to process to but it's really just piecing everything together that I find the most tricky. I'm sure I could just throw a song into some of these and throw them out into the world, but I just can't do that. They have to, I'm not going to. So somebody somebody asked me a question is like, Oh, do you feel the pressure to put out something better than the last thing you put out? I don't feel that pressure. But what I do feel is the pressure of making sure that whatever I do put out, I'm proud of. So I just want to make sure I'm proud of everything that I share with people and that I release. That's, that's important to me. Sure.

Steve Arnold 24:48
Yeah. Just Just being happy with with what you're putting out there and knowing knowing that it's the best that it can be.

Michael Shainblum 24:54

Steve Arnold 24:55
Yeah. So So I guess you don't really sort of look to other Sources of validation, or is there? Is there something that might happen? A particular piece of feedback from a person or organization or whoever that? That might mean? It might mean a lot to us specifically, or if so, you know, or it might go the other way. Like, is there anything like that?

Michael Shainblum 25:18
Yeah, I mean, I always appreciate it. When

when someone likes my work, or enjoys my work, I appreciate everyone's feedback, regardless of who you are. Whether you're a photographer or filmmaker or somebody I am inspired by or somebody who I haven't had the pleasure of meeting or knowing. I'm just appreciative that anyone likes my work in general. I think that's pretty cool. So no, I always appreciate it. It is nice when companies reach out and they want to work with me and they say hey, we like what you did. Hear in this video and we want to do it for our brands. I take that as a pretty big compliment, for sure. And then on the opposite spectrum going the opposite way. Yeah, it can hurt when people are critical, especially when people are kind of mean rather than, like, real constructive feedback. I think I think that Yeah, I don't know that, that part. I've, I've gotten used to that over the years, but that part can be tough sometimes. I used to get it a lot more than I do now. But yeah, there there have been some moments of like, Oh, damn,

that sucks.

Steve Arnold 26:41
Now, I think anyone who puts anything online, you have to have to get a thick skin. Sooner or later. Definitely, definitely. Yeah, just knowing knowing the valuable negative feedback versus the worthless stuff is is pretty pretty. A good skill to have,

Michael Shainblum 27:01
and it's all subjective. There's plenty of people who don't like my work, and that's perfectly fine. Not everyone's going to like what you do, regardless of what you do, whether you're cooking something or you're doing photography, or you're anyone really, I mean, just a somebody's talking on a show, some people are gonna, like you and some people are not gonna like you and what you do, and it's a huge part of art because it is so subjective. It's not really a lot of objectivity to creating art. It's like all your creativity. Of course, there's there's, there's some different things with like, there is photojournalism and whatnot. I understand that. But, I mean, it is very personal. It's super personal. I think that's why people take more offense to when somebody criticizes their art than maybe something else is because it's really, really it's personal. Especially when I'm mentioning like, I had my Before when, when I was getting into photography, how it's able to add, it's how I express myself. So, you know, I've definitely, I've gotten used to constructive feedback and things like that. And I actually do look, I seek constructive feedback a lot of the times from colleagues and friends, but I can hurt a little bit when you know, someone criticizes you like I would, I'd rather somebody criticize me and feel like you're stupid look, and then be like, your art is stupid. And that would have been like you. They're like, You're stupid looking. I'm like, that's perfectly fine, but your art is stupid. I can't believe Why would you say that to me? Anyway,

Steve Arnold 28:43
so obviously, you mentioned about, you know, your enjoyment of, you know, being creative and putting your putting your work out there. When it comes to the actual physical doing, of that, you know, the whole process if you've got a favorite part because there's something thing that you really enjoy?

Michael Shainblum 29:02
Well, I probably like shooting more than editing, although I spend most of my time editing. But I do, I really appreciate both parts of the process. I think that when I'm shooting, I'm a little bit more maybe like more fine tuned like I'm in my rhythm, editing, sometimes I just I can get frustrated and postprocessing more so than in the shooting aspect of it. So I probably enjoy shooting more. I like the adventure. I like being outdoors. I like hiking and exploring. But there is the I get enjoyment from editing too. There's definitely those moments where I like to just be at the house and process images and process videos. The problem is it just takes me forever. I just take forever to edit photos and I take even longer to edit videos and people on YouTube. You know, I I won't release like a YouTube video in two months people like Where did you go? Like I'm trying to figure out I messed up this voiceover and now I got to redo it and then Adobe Premiere is crashing on me it's just like the whole thing. It's a little less therapeutic than the shooting aspect the shooting aspect is so therapeutic the editing part it's enjoyable, not quite as therapeutic for me.

Steve Arnold 30:23
So when it when it comes to the processing of your stills for the time lapse videos, you know, when I when I look at the videos, it seems like every single frame could easily stand alone as like a well refined steel image. You know, how does your processing of those still frames compared to like a regular photo?

Michael Shainblum 30:47
There's definitely differences but I I appreciate that you brought that up because that is a goal that I'm going for. I want the timelapses to be able to stand alone and a lot of the times people ask me Hey, do you need All this motion equipment to make a good time lapse, I don't think so, if you have enough motion, enough interesting things happening in a scene, you can totally just do a static time lapse on a tripod. And it looks great. And that's frankly what I do most of the time. If the scene is good enough, it doesn't need much else.

As far as the process goes,

I'm unable to do a lot of the things that I would do in Photoshop. So you know, doing panoramas and focus stacking exposure blending, there are more technical limitations to time lapse. So I definitely have to think about that while I'm shooting and while I'm composing, but then also while I'm processing the shots, but the processing for time lapse is definitely a little bit more simple than photography in that you don't have those extra things to think about. So a lot of it's just increasing the dynamic range in Lightroom bringing out some of the Colors and the tones and that's really about it. Yeah, I do Lightroom sometimes LR time lapse. A lot of the times it's going in removing birds and boring stuff like that, like little birds flashing on the screen and dust spots. And that's the only thing about time lapse, the processing can be a little bit more technical than, like, the creative part is, you know, messing with the colors in Lightroom. And then beyond after that, after you do the Lightroom process, it's like just rendering the clip out and altering mistakes and things like that.

Steve Arnold 32:37
So, yeah, you mentioned you know, just being able to capture a good time lapse just with a you know, with your camera and a tripod. You know, I quite a few years ago, I actually started to dabble with a bit of time lapse and I think I mean, I got the technical aspect down of you know, having the Every, every so many seconds capture a shot and all the rest of it. And I even had this. I can't remember what it was called, but there was some guy who had developed this little device that you can attach to a Canon camera, which helps you with the transition between daylight and night. It would change the exposure.

Unknown Speaker 33:21
It's called a bulb or ampere. Yes, yeah,

Steve Arnold 33:23
that's right. Yeah,

Michael Shainblum 33:25
that might be the time lapse view. One to use that one.

Steve Arnold 33:29
That name doesn't ring a bell

Michael Shainblum 33:30
or the aperture plus there was a few of them.

Steve Arnold 33:33
I think the one I got was just some guy who was making it in his shed or something. And it was like when these guys might be okay. You know, it's literally just like a circuit board with a few buttons and some batteries hanging off of it.

Michael Shainblum 33:48
Little it might be like the little grandpa that was like the pot. Oh, yes.

Steve Arnold 33:51
Yeah. Grandpa that rings a bell. That word. Yeah. So yeah. And what I wanted to ask around that is, you know, for people who have literally just got their regular photography equipment and yeah obviously that's that's all he would really need to get started if someone wants to dip their toe and and and have a go at creating some time lapse clips is there is there any advice that you would have to somebody who is thinking to give it a go to give them a like a quick win because I I get the feeling it's something that if you invest a lot of time and it doesn't quite go right then it can put you off in the beginning.

Michael Shainblum 34:33
Yeah, no, that's a good, that's a good call. Then that's why I encourage people when they're getting started not to go purchase a bunch of slider equipment and pan until heads invest all this money and all this time into that stuff when they haven't really dialed down the basic settings, the basic intervals of what what they find appealing for certain sites. objects and just in general getting like a really nice composition. I think that's the most important part if you can dial down a nice static composition, and you start getting into the motion equipment and, and the same thing with settings to keep it simple to start. And then you can start doing these bigger data night shots which are a little trickier. They take a lot of troubleshooting, things don't work and then when they don't work, you just spent three or four hours of your time on nothing. Just go out and have fun experiment. There's so many cool things that can be time lapse. Some of my favorite time lapses are the most simple things. They're just a time lapse of beautiful clouds billowing for like 1520 minutes. an intersection where the traffic patterns are going and you're looking up above the scenes like this are awesome. And the the the motion is all you know it can be really fluid. So I would say Go out look for look for something to shoot. It doesn't have to be cars or, or clouds, but there's tons of things if you see something in motion, just try it out and stick with simple settings at first, like try manual, do manual settings and if you're shooting at sunset just overexpose a little bit to the point where you're almost clipping the highlights if you're shooting sunrise vice versa, you know, clip, clip the blacks a little bit. But, but yeah, definitely keep it simple to start. Keep it simple. go explore and you have to experiment, because you're gonna fail. You're not gonna fail. I don't think there's a single person who's done time lapse who hasn't failed. A few time lapse. I've failed. So many time lapses over the years. Countless time lapse. I failed more time lapses than most people have shot time lapses and hours and hours and I'm talking you know out I'm talking to shots that really were a bummer to lose like you know what Sleeping in 10 degree weather out in the desert in a tent and then you know waking up to check the shot at like 4am and realize the battery on the on the device died and I lost like, you know four hours of the Milky Way time lapse and it would have been the best Milky Way moonrise time lapse I mean, it's painful. So you have to experiment, go get the go get failures out of the way so you can figure out what works. I mean, this just my bend my method for everything in life is like fail until you until you get a success in photography, in cooking. Like I try cooking and I mess up most of the things like cooking and then eventually I get it. I'm like, oh that spice works with that. And that goes with that. And now I'm like, Alright, sound a meal that works. Same thing with photography. That's how I do most of the things in my life is fail, fail, fail, fail, and then it'll work.

Steve Arnold 37:56
Yeah, that's a good advice. All right. So with regards to keeping it simple as I saw also you have a video I think you published quite recently on YouTube showing folks who don't necessarily have any video software how to actually get a bunch of frames into a video in Photoshop so you know folks who want to try that can can head to that video but your your masters visuals masterclass, there's something that you've spent a lot of time creating and putting together it looks to be the consumer course on time lapse. So I think you know, what, what what kind of things can people expect if they were to, to invest in that, you know, who is that for? First of all, maybe we can start with that.

Michael Shainblum 38:45
Yeah, for sure that so we made that course. took three years. And man, that was one of the hardest things I've ever put together a Yeah, it's it's definitely good for beginners. People just looking to get into it but also good for people just trying to learn new techniques and and you know, I dive into data night shots, all my motion equipment, various different scenes like fog and like like rising above, you know, overcast desert scene data nights in San Francisco and Los Angeles and I put a lot of work into that one and variety of different courses and we have 12 hours in it split up between shooting and post processing. I process so many time lapses in that I was like, I'm done processing. I'm done shooting and processing time lapse for a while and I just don't want to do this for a little while. It's hard, it's hard to eat, okay, it's very hard. It's hard enough to shoot a time lapse. It's really hard to shoot it and also teach it at the same time and get the right results. It's It's a lot trickier than people think we, we filmed a lot of courses that actually didn't work because of that, because something had messed up with the scene or because something messed up with the course or we missed. We just couldn't get it done in time. It's crazy, but, but yeah, I'm really proud of that one. Yeah, that was a fun course.

Steve Arnold 40:17
That's awesome. Yeah, I understand what you mean about, you know, when you're trying to teach something at the same time, you know, in many of my you know, processing videos of just the still image, you know, it's I'll get halfway through and I'll be like, Well, that didn't quite go as I was thinking it was gonna go Yeah.

Michael Shainblum 40:35
Or do you think it goes great, and then you look back on the video and you realize you don't like the processing that you did? That's happened to me a lot with my processing. And then I've had to trash the video and redo it realizing like I realized I oversaturated this, but that's the funny thing is when we process images for ourselves, we do that all the time. So it's really hard to do it in a tutorial because oftentimes I process an image realized I went overboard To realize I didn't do something correctly and go back and make fix my mistakes, but in a tutorial when you finalize it and say, now we're done and then you go and have dinner and come back to the footage and realize, oh, that doesn't look very good. You can't just be like oh Anyways guys, so I went and had dinner realized what I did was garbage so we're going to read to you can't do that and it's a tutorial but I've wanted to do that a few times and now usually I'll just I'll I'll have to just trash that tutorial file and then do it again. You know do do one that's a little different so

Unknown Speaker 41:36

Steve Arnold 41:37
so yeah, so your your masterclass the the URL for that is masters of visuals calm?

Michael Shainblum 41:45
Yeah, yeah, Masters visuals calm. That's where we have the course and then if you sign up for the course it also has we have a community page so everyone who purchased the course can post their videos in their post any questions? We have Pretty good community in there now it's actually pretty fun. And I've seen some really, really awesome time lapse videos in that community page. So I'm really glad we we started that,

Steve Arnold 42:09
How good does that feel to see that your work is inspired those those awesome videos coming in?

Michael Shainblum 42:15
That means a lot. It means that if I've inspired anyone to do anything, even remotely cool, but of course I you know, I get appreciation even if somebody is like, hey, looking at your images and drinking my coffee makes me feel good in the morning that that also feels good. But yeah, it's really cool. When people send me their work and say, Hey, you inspired me to do this. I never would have thought in a million years I would be in that position. So it's pretty. It's a little surreal to say that.

Steve Arnold 42:44
Yeah, that's great. Well, another another source of inspiration I've personally followed for a long time is your Instagram feed, which is your shine bloom photography, if I remember that correctly, Shamblin photography. You have Facebook as Well, Facebook pages that under the same name if people just search for your name I think they'll find it.

Michael Shainblum 43:04
Yeah, just Michael Shane bloom I have a one of those photography pages that I share stuff too. And then I've got a personal one too that I don't use for anything personal. It's just a sharing photography. Yeah, I'm on most of the social, the social media platforms that people have except for tik tok. I never got into that one. I don't know what I actually still don't really know what that is. I think it's for singing not for photography.

Steve Arnold 43:29
Yeah, I think I think I missed the boat on that one as well. Yeah. So all right, well, thanks so much, Michael. It's I've really appreciate your time and yeah, sharing your words of wisdom and expertise with the listeners

Michael Shainblum 43:47
out there was something I was I hope there's some some some piece of information that worked and now I really appreciate you having me on I it's awesome to awesome to be here chatting and

Talking about photography and time lapse. Always a blast.

Steve Arnold 44:03
Great. Well, thanks again, Michael will sign this off and we'll talk soon.


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