72 hours in Shanghai

April 2, 2012

By Carlos Barria

Occasionally, along with covering the news stories like the economy, politics, sports and social trends, we (Reuters photographers) have time to do something really fun.

Weeks ago, over a couple of beers, a friend from the BBC had the idea of putting a camera on the hood of a car and shooting a time-lapse sequence for a story he was working on. I’d never done a time-lapse project myself, so when I was asked to come up with an idea for Earth Hour on March 31— when cities across the world switch off their lights at 8:30 pm— my colleague Aly Song and I thought we’d give it a try. We decided to shoot sequences during the three days leading up to Earth Hour, ending with the dimming of the lights in Shanghai’s city center.

(View a full screen version here)

It was also a good opportunity to buy some new toys at Chinese prices, such as suction cup camera holders used to secure the camera on top of a car or any other surface.


Reuters photographer Aly Song sets up a remote camera in the front of a taxi

We used a total of seven cameras between two photographers on this project, shooting over 14,000 pictures, for a final time-lapse sequence that lasts one minute and 40 seconds.

That’s quite labor-intensive, but I think the video offers a glance at the frenetic energy and fast-pace of change that characterizes so many Chinese cities today.

For viewers in China, you can watch the timelapse below.

2 comments

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BEAUTIFUL!!!! PIAO LIAN!!! really nice feel of that crazy city, nir

Posted by nir | Report as abusive

I envy those gears. Full Frame cameras with monster lens. Quite a collection you have there.

Posted by ReinDomingo | Report as abusive