This is my short film from China’s huge national day parade in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the founding of the people’s republic.
The challenge was to come up with something different with so many different Chinese and international media covering the event from every angle. After waiting half the previous night for a pass and then catching only 3 hours sleep in the press centre lobby, I got put on a stand with a hundred odd of my media collegues including the likes of the BBC, Reuters, AP and AFP so there was no point doing the same as they were.
I decided to shoot the whole video on D-SLRs using a combination of time lapse and slow motion. The 7D was equipped with an adapted Nikon 300mm f2.8 lens and a 1.4x convertor set at 720p/60 and then slowed down to 25fps in Final Cut Pro. The 5DmkII and Nikon D700 were both mounted remotely high up in the air, one atop a big studio light stand, the other in a Manfrotto super arm clamped to a lampost, both also had tilt and shift lenses fitted.
It was a quite hot for an October day in Beijing and I think this coupled with my heavy use of the 720p movie mode caused my 7D to overheat a lot. The camera would flash a red warning on the LCD and three times the camera overheated so much that it decided to stop me filming. This is documented in the user manual which also states that overheating can also cause the image quality to degrade. In future I’m going to being more with me to protect the camera from the heat.
This said the footage I did get was amazing and is only lightly adjusted for colour and contrast, otherwise its pretty much how it came out the camera.
You can see video as it originally on the Guardian here
There is an great tutorial on timelapse processing from Eos-network here
To see some astounding Timelapse work check out the work of Tom at Timescapes[caption