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Time Travels: Charles River Sunset

Light fades on a world-class skyline


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The time-lapse above shows the sun setting over the Charles River andthe Boston skyline on a pleasant summer evening. The camera wasstrapped near the train tracks below the BU Bridge, hence an occasionalshudder in the frame. Shooting began at 5:45 p.m., with a shot intervalof 10 seconds. The last frame was shot at 11:30 p.m. The video was thenencoded at 50 frames per second.  

The technique of time-lapse photography has been around for years, but never seems to get old. This year, with the help of mechanical engineering student and photography enthusiast Peter Moriarty (ENG’11), BU Today is bringing you familiar sights in a way you’ve never seen them before.

The key to successful time-lapse photography is to determine how to manipulate time to produce the most interesting images. The photographer must set two key variables. First, how often do you want the camera to record an image? Second, once you’ve gathered images, how quickly do you want to play them?

Got an idea for a time-lapse on or around campus? Share it with us. Think large or small, indoors or out. If we follow through in our weekly series, you’ll get credit, but even better, we’ll all get a great new set of images and a deeper appreciation of where we stand, and live.

Edward A. Brown can be reached at ebrown@bu.edu.


9 Comments on Time Travels: Charles River Sunset

  • Anonymous on 10.06.2009 at 7:08 am

    Very nicely done, but what is the bright blurb that appears to rise in the sky, just right of the Citgo sign? It shows up at literally one second before the end of the video (it’s hard to catch.) Looks like the sun, but it can’t be if the last frame was shot at 11:30PM. Is it just a glare on the lens coming from a moving light source that I can’t pinpoint? I can’t tell

  • Anonymous on 10.06.2009 at 7:09 am

    It might be the moon, but wouldn’t that have been up in the sky even prior to sunset?

  • Anonymous on 10.06.2009 at 8:50 am

    Charles River Sunset

    That is the best “time travels” sequence yet!

  • Anonymous on 10.06.2009 at 1:46 pm

    This is my FAVORITE of the time travels series.

    AWESOME JOB! Very pretty!

  • Anonymous on 10.06.2009 at 3:45 pm

    Great video. Wish the storrow drive traffic actually did move that fast! Maybe that bright spot is a blimp heading for Fenway park. You can clearly see the glow from the park lights.

  • Anonymous on 10.06.2009 at 5:38 pm

    Very well done

    NIcely done indeed.

    That is the full moon you see in the last few seconds, with a late rising just after sunset.

    The moon rises at different times depending on its phase.

  • Anonymous on 10.06.2009 at 9:40 pm

    Yeah, I’m pretty sure that’s Fenway Park. You know that big baseball stadium practically on campus? It’s been there since 1912 or so…

  • Anonymous on 10.07.2009 at 2:26 am

    That’s definitely the moon, the camera is facing east.

  • evden eve nakliyat on 12.19.2009 at 8:01 am

    its realy good

    Thanks, for the good articles …I am very intiresting..

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