Time-lapse photography

The Hypnotic Allure of Cinemagraphic Waves

Ocean waves are, by definition, in a constant state of motion. They swell, surge, crest, and break, and then ebb into another pulse of water. For a photographer, capturing this process requires impeccable timing—a sense for that moment when a wave will rise, or crash, or form a perfect barrel—so that the image is frozen in time but also captures the essence of movement. Ray Collins is a master of that moment, and has won awards for his deep, textured photographs of mountainous waves and roiling seascapes.

Cinematographer Armand Dijcks had been experimenting with animating splashes of water when he first encountered Collins’s photographs. He wondered if he could show the waves “in motion, but staying in place at the same time,” he says. “The idea was to stretch out the 1/8000th [of a] second during which the image was created into infinity. In a lot of my work, I like to mess with people’s minds a little, and this contrast between a very short time span being stretched infinitely long, and between motion and stillness is a perfect example of that.”

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After he created a rough example to show Collins—“He immediately liked the idea,” he says—Dijcks set to work. The result is a series of moving-yet-still images, known as “cinemagraphs.” This relatively new technique involves manipulating a still image to create looped, recurring motion. The effect can be startling. They’re photographs that move, or videos that refuse resolution.

Named “The Infinite Loop,” his series of cinemagraphs include cliffs that bristle but never collapse, eternal tubes, and rising edifices of water. Atlas Obscura spoke with Dijcks about the particular challenges of water and the benefits of collaboration.

You usually start with a few seconds of video footage. You then create a mask that reveals the motion only in certain parts of the image, with the rest being still. The motion is then looped so that it will continue endlessly. Although it’s possible to do the masking and looping in Photoshop, I prefer to use a dedicated application, called Flixel Cinemagraph Pro, that speeds up the whole process significantly. But you don’t necessarily have to start with regular video. You can also use time lapse footage, or, as in case of my wave cinemagraphs, animated stills. In those cases the process usually becomes a lot more involved, and you might need additional software. In my case, for example, I used After Effects for the…

Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol 2.: Watch Amazing Timelapse Video Of Taserface’s Makeup

WARNING: This Article Contains SPOILERS!

As we’ve recently discovered, a lot of the things that normally would be CG’d in James Gunn’s Guardians of the Galaxy was done with actual makeup and prosthetics. As Comicbook.com wrote today, “In a broadcast by Adam Kruger of Anchor.fm, we learned that Young Ego was created by 90% makeup work, and only 10% CGI work. That’s a far cry from other flashback moments in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (see: Michael Douglas in Ant-Man; Young Tony Stark in Captain: Civil War) which have clearly used extensive CGI work to achieve their de-aged effect.”

While Kurt Russell’s Ego might have been easy to work with – actor Chris Sullivan’s Taserface clearly was not. The (to put it nicely) hard to look at Taserface was the work of a team of make up artists over a period of hours….

Weekend Watch: The Mesmerizing Timelapse of Machine Embroidery

I’ll admit it. I’ve worked at Make: for 2 years and never really considered myself much of a maker. But recently, along with fellow editor Caleb, I picked up the Brother SE400 Embroidery and Sewing Machine. As I started imagining all the embellishments I could add to clothes, and patches I wanted to design, I figured I ought to see what others had been doing in the world of machine embroidery.

I found some really helpful tutorial videos on YouTube from TLCInspirations and Burley Sew, but what really entranced me were the simple, up-close-and-personal timelapse videos I found of the machine plugging away. I love seeing the zig-zag of the first stitches (this is called the underlay) as the image takes shape, and watching it slowly fill in with details.

Caleb made this awesome Jeff Goldbum patch a while ago. (You may have even noticed it was an easter egg in the Toolbox section of our biohacking issue, Volume 56.)