Timelapse photography: Graffiti art murals for MLB

The largest time-lapse photography project that I’ve worked on to date, involved seven cameras running simultaneously while recording six graffiti art murals being created – all during the course of one afternoon! These time-lapse sequences were shot for an agency that was creating a promotional video for MLB.

The concept behind this was that they had five artists painting murals of the six most likely drafts for MLB this particular season. The agency had a team there shooting video segments, and I had to do time-lapse photography of the graffiti art murals being painted.

These time-lapse sequences were incorporated into a video, “Fall Colors“, which ended up winning a 2018 Sports Emmy Award in the “Outstanding Studio Or Production Design / Art Direction”!

As the photographer tasked with capturing the time-lapse footage, I was one of the team of Production Designers who won this prestigious award.

For me the challenge was mostly one of logistics – making sure everything was set up and in place, ready to go before everyone started. All 7 cameras (and 2 motion dollies) were synced and running properly at the same time! All this had to be done while wearing a respirator mask protecting against the paint fumes.

This behind-the-scenes video clip below shows the two motion controlled time-lapse rigs in action. They move the cameras gradually during the 4-hr long sequence as the particular artist painted a mural. The motion dollies give a cinematic movement to the final timelapse video, as the perspective gradually changes throughout the specific sequence.

Of the seven cameras used, four cameras were static on tripods, and two were on these motion-controlled dollies, while another camera was used for a hyper-lapse of the entire event.

The main video at the top shows the compilation of six of those cameras (but not the hyper-lapse). For three of the four static camera views, I added a zoom effect in post-production to maintain the energy of the event in the final video.