Photographers' Blog

72 hours in Shanghai

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.

A global view of Earth Hour

The world turned off its lights on March 26 for an hour from 8.30 p.m. local time as a show of support for tougher action to confront climate change.

A global celebration of Earth Hour 2011 from Nicky Loh on Vimeo.

I was given the assignment to not only photograph the event from Taipei, Taiwan, but to produce a multimedia video that showcased the world’s landmarks without lights as part of the fifth annual Earth Hour.

The Taipei 101 building is seen before Earth Hour in Taipei March 26, 2011.  REUTERS/Nicky Loh

The Taipei 101 building is seen during Earth Hour in Taipei March 26, 2011. REUTERS/Nicky Loh

The Reuters online team in Toronto and I had decided to produce a video to illustrate the event with pictures by our photographers around the world. The idea was to fade before pictures with the lights turned on into the exact same image without the lights on.

Earth Hour: The world unplugged

A combination picture shows Berlin’s Brandenburg Gate before (top) and during Earth Hour March 27, 2010. REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch

Reuters’ photographers around the world were out in full force on Saturday to capture their city’s landmarks as the lights went out for Earth Hour.

From Beijing to Berlin, before and after photographs were taken and combined into this short video to illustrate the symbolic one-hour switch-off.

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