Rather than uploading a set of still photos from his recent visit to New York City, Ynon Lan decided to try something a little different.
Basically he created a short video where each themed segment consists of individual photos captured in different locations, with different backgrounds and changing subjects.
While not groundbreaking, it’s a fun video to watch and one of the more interesting “photo albums” I’ve seen lately. The guys over at Vimeo agree where the video received 50k views in less than a week and was selected as a “Staff Pick”.
“I was looking for a way to portray all the different types of scenery and people that I saw as well as keep the constant energy of the city”, explains Ynon. Being a freelance motion graphics designer and animator, and a student of character animation at the Bezalel Academy of Arts & Design, he drew inspiration from his studies:
“As an animation student you learn and talk in class about how is it that your brain sees individual frames projected at a certain speed as one flowing motion.
It goes for animation where you draw the frames yourself but it also applies to film where in the end it’s just individual frames played really fast to create an illusion of motion.
I was always interested in how much can you push that idea and still make it work”.
Ynon conducted a few early tests, including the ever so helpful walking finger test, and decided that it’s worth a shot:
“The concept was that if the brain will have a solid constant thing to hold on to in each frame, for example a yellow taxi placed dead center in each frame, then the brain will perceive the rapidly changing background as if it’s constantly moving”.
All in all Ynon captured approximately 3600 photos for this project, but only ended up using just 330 of them in the final cut.
Many of the unused photos were a result of Ynon shooting in burst mode, to ensure he gets the perfectly framed image, while others simply did not fit.
For those wondering about the tech specs, Ynon captured the images with a Canon 550D with an 18-135mm kit lens, compiled the single frames into a video using Adobe Premiere Pro and Adobe After Effects for title design and color corrections. The ambient sounds were also recorded with the 550D using the built-in microphone.
Ynon set out to capture the photos in his spare time, and estimates it took him about one week altogether. The painstaking editing process was also a spare-time project and was spread throughout a month or so.
“The hardest part to edit was the people walking”, said Ynon in an interview with DIYP, “because I had to find that one perfect frame that will match the previous frame out of hundreds of different photos”.
Despite the cool souvenir from his first visit to New York, Ynon has one regret. He was keen to get a photo of a taxi passing in front of the famous Seinfeld diner, but construction work had almost brought traffic to a stop.
“It was like one car passing every five minutes. So I stood on that corner in the freezing cold for at least 30 minutes waiting for a taxi to pass by but it didn’t. At some point a construction worker came up to me and asked me if a celebrity is supposed to pass by soon because he thought I was a paparazzi photographer waiting for somebody.
I was embarrassed to tell him that I was merely waiting in order to take a picture of a taxi. After a long time I ended giving up and walking away without the frame that I wanted, and that’s my biggest regret of this project because Seinfeld is one my favorite shows”.
If you’re more into urbex photography, check out these crumbling relics in NYC.