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Time-lapse Video: Sunrise to Sunset at BU—in Less Than 3 Minutes

Technique uses thousands of photos to bring the Charles River Campus to life


Summer is arguably the most beautiful time to be on campus. And the proof can be found in this BU Today video. Using a combination of time-lapse and hyperlapse photography and more than 8,000 photographs (no, that’s not a typographical error)—each framed a foot apart—the labor-intensive project is the work of Bill Politis, a producer and editor with BU Productions.

Just how labor-intensive, you ask? Politis shot more than 13,000 photos over six weeks, from sunrise to sunset, to produce the video. He used a hyperlapse technique, which adds movement to the traditional time-lapse. To pull it off, he had to frame each shot, take the photo, then move the camera about a foot forward and shoot the same scene again until it had been completed. It’s a painstaking process.

And then there was the weather to contend with. Clouds sometimes ruined a perfect sunrise or sunset, requiring Politis to shoot five separate sunrises and seven sunsets. Each one was markedly different. The overall effect, we think you’ll agree, is mesmerizing.

Bill Politis can be reached at bpolitis@bu.edu.


9 Comments on Time-lapse Video: Sunrise to Sunset at BU—in Less Than 3 Minutes

  • Alexandra Bautista on 08.27.2018 at 9:52 am

    Gorgeous footage, brilliant photog!

  • LarryO on 08.27.2018 at 10:47 am

    Thanks for the technical explanation of how hyperlapse is done. I’ve seen many of these types of videos, but can now appreciate the amount of effort and dedication it takes to produce such a beautiful result!

  • Aurelia Grayson on 08.28.2018 at 6:24 am

    The photography is stunning, and the music is perfect.

  • Allison on 08.28.2018 at 8:10 am

    Well done!!

  • Catherine Latham on 08.28.2018 at 8:21 am

    Your photography and music and the subjects you chose were excellent. Thank you. Dr. Catherine Trombly Latham, Professor emerita.

  • LL on 08.28.2018 at 11:00 am

    Bill Politis is an amazing film maker! Saw “Strong for a Girl”, too, and one on the BU beach. He captures what we recognize yet finds a way to make it refreshing, too. This one is timeless, probably one for the BU history files. It’s also great to read about a young person having the patience and vision to produce art for the rest of us. Seriously — 13k images over six weeks?! Just awesome.

  • naveen reddy admala on 08.29.2018 at 12:03 am

    Wonderful idea, brilliantly captured. Your dedication is admirable.

  • Soulamane on 08.30.2018 at 10:32 am

    What an art! Short and great!

  • Mark Thompson on 09.03.2018 at 3:56 pm

    Nice, but spring and fall both beat summer in Boston! Winter is tied with summer. At least that’s how I recall it from the early ’70s. Great job–now do 3 minutes on move-in day!

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