News | Gulf

Time-lapse movie looks back at a fantastic journey

I want the viewer to experience a glimpse of how visually stunning the journey is, what can be seen and experienced from the Metro in a way that can not be seen in still images alone.

  • By Oliver Clarke, Photographer
  • Published: 00:00 September 8, 2010
  • Gulf News

Oliver Clarke
  • Image Credit: Gulf News
  • I want the viewer to experience a glimpse of how visually stunning the journey is, what can be seen and experienced from the Metro in a way that can not be seen in still images alone, says Oliver Clarke.

Dubai: After travelling on the Dubai Metro a few times I came up with the idea of making a time-lapse movie of the journey from Rashidiya to Ibn Battua stations.

I have had experience of making time-lapse movies before and thought that the Metro would make an interesting and exciting project.


I want the viewer to experience a glimpse of how visually stunning the journey is, what can be seen and experienced from the Metro in a way that can not be seen in still images alone.

Video: Stunning timelapse of Dubai Metro

I want to encourage people in Dubai to use the Metro and for my family and friends back in the UK for example, to see what a wonderful city we live in.

My idea was set, I would produce a time-lapse movie that would condense the full journey into a visual treat that could be seen in under five minutes.

So what is time-lapse and how did I make the movie?

Time-lapse is a series of images taken over time and played back at high speed to give an impression of time advancing faster than reality. This is not video. I used a Digital SLR and a tripod to shoot the images and editing software to make the movie.

This time-lapse was made from more than 5,000 still images processed into a sequence and then output into a movie format with movie-editing software.

Just the train ride sequence alone uses 3,600 images. I shot at dusk from the front window of the train at one frame per second and adjusted the exposure manually as the light faded into dark. The sequences of people and stations is made up of another 1,500 images. These were shot at very high speed, 10 frames per second and played back at the same speed to match the speed of the train journey sequence.

In total the four-minute time-lapse took me 15 journeys on the train, and 12 hours shooting at various stations. I shot 15,000 images in total, and took 12 hours to select images, making time-lapse sequences, and then the final edit into a movie.

During the month's shooting on the train and at various stations it dawned on me what an enormous engineering feat the metro actually is. It's clear to me now that Dubai Metro has become a way of life for travel across Dubai.

I want to encourage people in Dubai to use the metro. Many Dubai residents have not been on the train as of yet, so this is my way to show them what they are missing.

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