I am, as anyone familiar with my work will know, a huge fan of time lapse photography. I have a particular fascination with sunrises, sunsets, cloud movement and flower blooming. The one thing that ties all of these genres together is that all I really have to do is show up. Yes, it's my job to pre-visualize the scene and decide the proper exposure as the light changes throughout the scene, but once all those calculations have been made, I basically sit on my ass.
Two weeks ago, I did a time lapse that was exactly the opposite.
The Bengis Center for Entrepreneurship and High-Tech Management hired me to do a series of promotional videos for their upcoming Innovation Israel conference in June. One of the ideas I pitched was a time lapse of a mosaic design, using colorful seeds and beans. As I got my equipment together and set up the shot, the ideas occurred to me that the sequence would look cool if I picked up and placed the beans using chopsticks. I picked out a decorative pair of chopsticks and, knowing that this would be a very long process, settled in for the long haul.
What I didn't anticipate, however, was that about two hours into the process, my shoulder began to ache from the constant, repetitive, precise movements. The logic of this pain made sense but no sooner had I noticed the discomfort that the rate at which the pain increased began to increase seemingly exponentially. Five minute breaks to rest my shoulder turned into ten and twenty minutes breaks until even the portions of the mosaic that required the use of a spoon were hardly bearable. Five hours after picking up the last bean, my shoulder let out a shivering ache of relief as I positioned the last white Lima bean in place.
It took about twenty minutes to pull the footage from my camera, compress it into a ten-second sequence and render it for playback. As satisfying as it was to finally see the fruits of my labor, I could almost hear an audible sigh from my shoulder that seemed to say, "Really? You put me through all those hours of pain for that?" I promptly told my shoulder to stop whining, took an ibuprofen and went to bed.
Maybe next time I'll use bigger beans. Also, the musical credit goes to my friend George Kent from his song "Last Cigarette" that was recorded while we were at the Contemporary Music Center together. I tried to get in touch with him for permission to use the track but I got no response from the email address I have on file for him. If you're out there, George, a university in Israel might owe you some money.
Enjoy the video