Slow Life Is a 150,000 Photos Mesmerizing Underwater Timelapse


If you thought that shooting underwater is hard, wait until you hear about this macro-stacking-150,000-photos timelapse project.

Daniel Stoupin is a marine biology PHD student in Queensland. This obviously gives him a lot of material to shoot in his other job as an underwater videographer. Slow life in particular combines both his loves -marine life and underwater photography.

While corals seem static to the human eye, they are in fact ever moving organisms, only they move very slowly. Daniel explains:

“Slow” marine life is particularly mysterious. As colorful, bizarre-looking, and environmentally important as we know corals and sponges are, their simple day-to-day life is hidden. We know some bits about their biochemistry, corals’ interaction with zooxanthella algae, their life cycles, and systematics. Unfortunately, it’s hard to tell what we don’t know about the rest, and particularly when it comes to interaction with other organisms happening over long periods of time.

Aside from being hypnotically beautiful, the project was a huge technical challenge. Shot with a Canon 7D and a Canon 5d Mkiii with a Canon MP-E 65 mm lens, each shot is actually made out of 3-12 frames stacked together to get the right depth of field. Even with 3 dedicated custom lights DOF was too small and stacking was made using motorized stages like StackShot (all underwater,  mind you)

Processing took several weeks with one computer committing suicide after running focus stacking jobs for 3 weeks straight.

But the result is absolute worth it. Sit back, go to full screen and turn the volume dial all the way up to really enjoy this unique movie.

If you want to learn more head over to Daniel’s Slow Life blog post.

[Slow Life | Daniel Stoupin via]

  • jason bourne

    It’s spelled “mesmerizing.” 😉

    • udi tirosh

      of course it does 😉 why would you mention that 😉