Video/Time lapses copyright © Ross Ching. All rights reserved.
Tell us something about Ross Ching and how did he get into photography as such ?
I initially got into photography in high school because my friends wanted me to film their skateboard tricks. That soon morphed into a strong appreciation for the art of photography and how so much meaning can be conveyed by pushing a button.
There are many streams in Photography, what made you choose Time lapse photography ?
Eclectic – Ross Ching’s first time lapse creation
I was looking for a way to create something unique. I didn’t want to just take a video camera and film a movie. So I began thinking about how I could use a still camera to make something more interesting. I eventually learned about time lapse photography and was instantly hooked.
What inspires Ross Ching to into making Timelapse photography ? How different is shooting for Time lapse compared to normal still photography?
What inspires me is nature, science and the curiosity of humanity.
How different is shooting for Timelapse compared to normal still photography?
Timelapse is very similar to landscape still photography, but very different from all other forms of still photography. With other forms of photography, you have to worry about lighting and actors and placement of objects. With timelapse, you let the scene run its course.
Your Eclectic series is a real delight to any Time lapse fan with brilliant visual compositions. Can you tell us story behind the series and how long you took to create it?
Eclectic3.0 : The Roads Less Travelled
My thinking behind the series was that I wasn’t going to simply make the same thing more than once. So you’ll notice that in 2.0 I incorporated motion and in 3.0 I included tilt-shift. The goal was to make something truly unique, and at the time, I was the only one making things like it. Each video took me at few days, but 2.0 took longer since i travelled to different parts of the world to capture it.
Any particular bit of Timelapse which is very close to your heart probably because the way you did it or the incident etc ?
Running On Empty
I’m really proud of Running on Empty mostly because it let me push the envelope with the technique. It really let me tell a story with timelapse, and for that it’s my favorite piece.
Time Lapse shooting is not easy and requires a lot of patience, what is the longest you had to sit up while shooting a Timelapse?
I try and keep my shots relatively short, so in Eclectic, I never had a shot longer than 2 hours. But for other projects that were unrelated, I’ve had shots that last for up to 14 days!
What are the things that goes into planning before you hit the road for making a Timelapse ?
My number 1 planning tool is Google Maps. It lets me scout all the locations before I drive out to the spots. Some locations are so remote that it’d be unreasonable for me to go all the way over there to check if the shot will work or not. This way, I can see a map, a satellite view, a terrain map, and sometimes a street view.
What according to you is the most important tool a photographer must have before attempting a Time lapse?
A intervalometer….something that will automate the taking of the pictures.
Time lapse is all about science and mathematics – Any pointers on how to choose ideal frame rate, shooting time, based on what we want to achieve eventually ?
Trial and error is the best technique. Use your best judgement and think about how fast your subject will be moving. If it’s the stars, give it more time between exposures than if you were to shoot clouds.
Post processing is as important as shooting the image sequence in Time lapse, what sort of workflow and tools do you use for processing a Time Lapse?
I shoot RAW and turn my image sequences into MOV prores files in After Effects, then I take it all into Final Cut, edit it, and do final color correcting with Magic Bullet Colorista 2.
- Do you have any particular sequence that you would want to make a Timelapse of, but still haven’t tried as yet ?
With a lot of regular Videos under your belt what do you see yourself doing more in the future, Timelapses or Video?
Eclectic 2.0 : Earth, Water, Sky
I think I’ve explored as deep as I need to go with timelapse. Everyone knows I can make a time lapse movie. Now I think my goal is to show people I can make a narrative movie. Even then, however, my timelapse experience helps me make better narrative movies.
You had recently been to Ecuador on a shoot, anything that you can share regarding the work and the info about Timelapses that you did there in particular ?
Ecuador was an intense shoot. We were in the Amazon jungle for a week where it was hot and humid with mosquitoes then the 2nd week we were at 9000 feet. The speed in which I had to set up some of these time lapses was crazy because of our hectic schedule. The extreme environments definitely took a toll on my equipment. I had a camera fail because of the high humidity and I had to come up with improvisations to make other shots work with a different camera.
If you had to give 3 important tips for anyone who wants to get into Timelapse photography, what would they be?
- Take a look at what everyone else is doing, but think about how you can take what they’re doing and make it unique to yourself
- Figure out what you’re good at and become better at that one thing. Don’t try to wear multiple hats.
- Use the internet to your advantage, it’ll teach you everything you’ll ever want to know.
Ross Ching is a American filmmaker based in Los Angeles, California. For all his works thus far, he has been credited as director, cinematographer, and editor. He started as a teenager making skateboarding videos with his friends, which were considered slick for high school level productions.
You can see most of Ross Ching’s creations on his website > www.rossching.com