My Photographic Year in Review

I had this idea a while back, and now that we’ve started a New Year, it seemed like a good idea to put that idea into action.

The notion was to take every single photo I captured in one calendar year, and assemble them into a time-lapse video. In this case, taking all of my photos from 2012, the task wasn’t too terribly daunting. I had captured a total of 25,600 photos during the year, but that included images captured with my iPhone, for example. When I narrowed the field down to only those images captured with my digital SLR, and only images captured in RAW, that brought me down to 16,668 photos. Of course, I had to review those images and remove a few outtakes, so the final total was “only” 15,993 images.

I processed all of these images and combined them into a time-lapse video at 60 frames per second, and here is the result:

While the number of photos is relatively small for an entire calendar year, at least for me, the range of photographic locations was relatively broad. Included were four trips to Austria, a couple of trips to Florida and California, and time in New York, Budapest, Boston, the Palouse country of eastern Washington state, Durango and surrounding areas of Colorado, Maine, Croatia, Italy, and more.

I added music from Kevin MacLeod (www.incompetech.com) to create the final video. The result is a full year of photography compressed into a video that is less than five minutes in length. It is fun and lively, though obviously it doesn’t exactly convey the experience of being in all those places.

Still, I think it is interesting, and I hope you enjoy the final result. It’s always fun to take a look back on the previous year’s images, and that also provides some ideas and inspiration for photos I’d like to capture (and places I’d like to visit) in the New Year…

About Tim Grey

Tim Grey is in the business of making photographers smarter and happier. He is the author of more than a dozen books on digital imaging for photographers, has written hundreds of magazine articles, and publishes the Ask Tim Grey e-mail newsletter as well as the Pixology digital magazine. He also speaks at a variety of events and leads photography workshops around the world.
This entry was posted in Memories, Photography, Time-Lapse, Video. Bookmark the permalink.

33 Responses to My Photographic Year in Review

  1. Steven House says:

    I like it a lot. I think I might do one as well. What software did you use? I might try an algorithm so that better shots linger longer, though that could be tricky!

    • Tim Grey says:

      Steven,

      I used Lightroom to export the images as JPEG sized down to a basic video resolution, fitting the images to 720×480 pixels. I then used Photoshop to process the verticals so they would have a 720 width just like the horizontals, and added black as the background. Next was QuickTime 7 (not 10!) to create the basic time-lapse video, and Premiere Pro to assemble the final result.

      And I totally agree about lingering on favorite shots from the year. I just have to decide how much time I want to spend on this little distraction. ;-)

      Tim

  2. Amy says:

    I love this idea. Am I correct in understanding that the images were all your raw images, not processed? So you HDR brackets were in there but not the HDR processed image? Love to see a video of how you did it! Thanks for sharing!

    • Tim Grey says:

      Amy,

      Yes, this was created from only RAW captures, so there weren’t any processed images or assembled HDR images. In Lightroom I filtered for images that were captured in 2012, with the serial number of my primary SLR, with a RAW (in my case Canon CR2) file format. And see my prior comment reply for notes on how I put it together. There was a lot of time spent waiting for the computer to do all the work! ;-)

      Tim

  3. lynne royce says:

    Effective. Entertaining. Brillant. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Terry Ryder says:

    What I liked most was where a given location or type of shot remained in view long enough to register. The rest became “flicker” that I found annoying. I think the concept is great and I’m going to try it myself. One other thing…keeping to all horizontal format might give a smoother feel.

    • Tim Grey says:

      Terry,

      I totally agree with the challenge of the flicker, as well as the issue of horizontal versus vertical. With the former, I figured it was sort of up to the viewer to try not to focus on the photos, per se, but rather to try to just let the images be a blur, getting a little bit of a sense of the subjects.

      For the latter, I gave that serious thought, but wanted to stay true to the original motivation of creating a time-lapse of every RAW capture from the entire year…

      Tim

  5. Charles Nauman says:

    Very interesting idea! Best segments, to my eyes, are when similar-subject shots are placed sequentially. I’d like to see it redone at 30 frames per second… maybe even 15 frames per second, if that is possible. Thanks.

    • Tim Grey says:

      Charles,

      I do especially like when there were bracketed exposures or just sequences with a lot of the same subject, so that there was more continuity rather than flicker.

      And I did originally render at 30 frames per second, and it looked much better, frankly. But then it was also almost 9 minutes, and I’m not sure too many folks would hang around that long. ;-) And if I went to 15 frames and it was an 18 minute video, then I’d really be in trouble! But I am toying with the notion of finding a way to further filter it down so it can be presented more slowly. Perhaps by deleting the bad photos! ;-)

      Tim

  6. Sue Moran says:

    Hard on my eyes, but glad you shared. What a life you lead! What wonderful images you make!!!

    • Tim Grey says:

      Sue,

      Yes, there is some difficulty with the high rate of incongruous images. I’m toying with how I might approach that. But glad you enjoyed all the same!

      Tim

  7. Sal Ferrea says:

    Really cool, I loved the video. Is their anyway to slow down to look at the pictures.

    • Tim Grey says:

      Sal,

      You could certainly pause the video at any time, and there are video players that allow slower playback. But I’m also thinking about creating a slower version. I was just worried about creating a video that is too long…

      Tim

  8. Maria says:

    What a wonderful idea. Yes, it was forward fast but the overall experience is fun and effective in sharing the variety of a years worth of experience. Packing it into one place is genius.

  9. Beth Kimes says:

    Incredible! Very inspiring and entertaining. Just what I needed this afternoon. Absolutely LOVE the tulips!!

  10. Paul Jeyaraj says:

    Hi Tim, awesome work, I can recognize lots of you pictures that were used during your various video tutorials at Video2brain.com, I need to watch it again as I cannot recall seeing your favorite prayer sticks from Japan :-)

    I have all of your Video’s on PS or LR or Digital Photography in general, they are life long treasures to keep and watch it over and over again to keep learning.

    Hope to meet you in person one day, perhaps we should organize a trip for you to wonderful Malaysia.

    Cheers
    Paul

  11. Marc Chaton says:

    Great idea and I’m appreciate that others liked it a lot, however, I only made it thru about a minute and a half before my eyes went wonky and I couldn’t do any more. Would like to see it at maybe half the fps or at least slower. Watched it on my iPad…perhaps I will try it again on my PC.

    Creative way to present your year’s work.

    • Tim Grey says:

      Marc,

      I totally get that. And I will be producing a slower version. Just have to decide if I’m going to filter the images down a little bit so it isn’t quite so long…

      Tim

  12. Kevin Cofer says:

    Very nice Tim! I love the concept and may try something similar.

  13. Bill says:

    Very cool Tim. Agree with some of the comments above regarding viewability, but really enjoyed it. Never would have thought of something like this. Good thing you didn’t capture 50K+. Might have become a neutral gray blur!

  14. Eric says:

    That was fun. The flicker is most noticeable with the vertical images with black backgrounds. I’d experiment with different neutral colored backgrounds to reduce the effect. Or, place 2 verticals side-by-side and avoid the background completely–that would also allow you to sneak in 2-for-1 pictures.

  15. Charles Nauman says:

    After reading all the comments and all your responses… how about creating one time-lapse with the horizontals, one time-lapse with the verticals, both done at 30 fps. That way the time would be more-or-less the same for each. Naturally, you have to do all the work.

    • Tim Grey says:

      Charles,

      I had thought of including only one or the other, but didn’t like the idea of excluding so many shots. But perhaps two separate videos is a good approach. I’ll give this more thought and figure something out!

      Tim

  16. Ted Willcox says:

    Neat Stuff!! How do you get the time to do all you do?

  17. Jacquelyn Ryan says:

    What a great year. . . what a dizzying pace!
    What camera/lenses do you use–the pics are soooooo sharp, even as they whiz by!

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