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Learning Slow Travel Through the Eye of Time Lapse

  • WHL Group
  • 13 February 2012

Time-lapse photography takes time. To capture a time lapse, you must park your camera in one place and let it stay there for a while. Unlike a simple snapshot photo that freezes one fleeting second, time-lapse is about long exposure. It stretches time, first prolonging it into lengths unobserved by the naked eye, then condensing it into one highly concentrated experience.

There are lessons to be learned from time-lapse photography about the beauty of slow travel. Park yourself somewhere and stay awhile. Be still. Go for long exposure. Reconsider time, stretch it, condense it and watch its flow. Leave a place with a long time-lapse memory of it rather than a handful of sporadic snapshot seconds.

We’ve asked our local partners from all over the world for time-lapse footage that moves them. In these long-exposure windows to the world, you can see what slow travel and time-lapse cameras reveal – both the constants and flux of a place over time.

Three Suns – Tatlong Araw, Philippines

“The new Philippine tourism tagline ‘It’s more fun in the Philippines’ could be applied to our sunsets – ‘Sunsets are more fun in the Philippines’ – as almost all of the time-lapse videos on YouTube feature our amazing sunset skylines. The first section of this video features White Beach in Boracay, which is consistently voted one of the top 10 beaches in the world. The time lapse captures the relaxed pace of visitors to the island.”
~ Trudy Allen, the whl.travel local connection in Boracay, Philippines

October in Luang Prabang, Laos

“It’s often said that Laos is 20-30 years behind the rest of Southeast Asia and that Luang Prabang is a place stuck in time. This time-lapse video captures the graceful timelessness of the UNESCO World Heritage town, the ebb and flow of the Mekong River and the stoic mountains that surround it.”
~ Cindy Fan of Teamworkz, the whl.travel local connection in Luang Prabang, Laos

Last 2011 Sunrise over Dingli, Malta

“In the Dingli Cliffs on the west coast of Malta, the quietness and peacefulness of the rural area is reflected perfectly in this lovely sunrise. Outside the busy commercial centres like Valletta and St. Julian’s, life in the rural parts of Malta (like Dingli) runs at a slower pace. The slow, deliberate rhythm of the locals creates a sense of contentedness and harmony.”
~ Marco Attard of EC Meetings, the whl.travel local connection in Malta

Time Lapse of Phnom Penh City, Cambodia

“As the video creator describes, ‘Phnom Penh is a city moving into the 21st century at an astonishing rate…. Where the west had decades for society to progress in parallel with technology, Cambodian people are trying to squeeze that progression into just a few years. This video represents the pace at which this city is changing.’

Even when slowed down, through the video you’ll experience how chaotic Phnom Penh is. Watch for the scenes of traffic at night and from the back of a tuk-tuk. It’ll give you a taste of how exciting driving through the city is.”
~ Cindy Fan of Teamworkz, the whl.travel local connection in Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Karuskose of Soomaa, Estonia

“This is Soomaa, Estonia, during the ‘Fifth Season’ of April, as captured over the course of an entire month from a webcam at our base camp at Karuskose.”
~ Aivar Ruukel, a local travel specialist in Soomaa, Estonia

Time Lapse in Hanoi, Vietnam

This is a fascinating portrayal of traffic and street life in Hanoi, Vietnam. “Slow travel is all about local immersion, and there is no better way to immerse yourself than buying or renting a motorbike and getting out there with the locals on the streets of Hanoi.”
~ Luke Ford, CEO of Gunyah, in Hanoi, Vietnam

Corcovado – Time Lapse in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

“Here is a slow-moving capture of the Christ the Redeemer monument in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. This video does a good job demonstrating why this world-famous icon has been named as one of the New Seven Wonders of the World.”
~ Luiz Renato Malcher, the whl.travel local connection in Rio de Janiero, Brazil

Dusk-to-Dawn Time Lapse in Bangkok, Thailand

Bangkok is where East truly meets West, where modern order collides with creative chaos and where, with help from the tropical heat, tradition melts in with the new. The city can only be described as an experience.

There’s an unapologetic exuberance to Bangkok – which is why it can be overwhelming, even for someone who has travelled there before. That’s why these time-lapsed videos are so mesmerising. The city is seemingly unpredictable, but slow it down and you’ll see how Bangkok rhythmically pulses with life and energy, how it moves to its own steady heartbeat.”
~ Cindy Fan of Teamworkz, the whl.travel local connection in Bangkok, Thailand

Time Lapse on Apparition Hill, Medjugorje, Bosnia-Herzegovina

“I like this video because it reflects the true highlight of Medjugorje: the pilgrimage to our Shrine of Peace. It shows the feelings of peace of oneness with God while climbing the hills. As you are stepping up the path, you see extraordinary white clouds drawn against the totally blue sky; you feel as if you are not alone. You could sit there for hours. You feel loved and not forgotten, and everything that makes you feel small seems to vanish.”
~ Zana R-Bilal, the whl.travel local partner in Medjugorje, Bosnia-Herzegovina

Time Lapse in Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia

“Here are two different sunset city-scapes in time lapse from Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia. Although the city of Kota Kinabalu moves with the fast pace of modernity, you can find sleepy towns, villages, and coasts that are lost in time just outside the urban area.”
~ Jessica Peters, the whl.travel local partner in Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia

Beira-Mar Time Lapse, Florianópolis, Brazil

“This video reflects a new phase that Florianópolis is going through. Just about three decades ago, although it was already the capital city of Santa Catarina State, Floripa was just an island with bucolic fishing villages sprinkled on the different beaches. Fortunately the island still preserves this aspect of itself, but the city centre of the island is now very cosmopolitan. It matches the rhythm of any major Brazilian capital city. My favourite part of the video is how the beauty of the nature, the ocean, the small boats and the mountains combine with the rush and chaos of the city center.”
~ Renata Asprino, the whl.travel local connection in Florianópolis, Brazil

Time Lapse in Kathmandu, Nepal

“This video was shot locally by a friend and former colleague, Rishikesh. He has won awards like ‘The Best Creative Youth’ at the Crity Awards, Nepal‘s most prestigious award ceremony in the field of advertisement, in 2010. Rishi was a key member of our whl.travel Nepal team until about March 2010.”
~ Navin M. Shrestha, the whl.travel local partner in Nepal

Sunset Time Lapse, Solomon Islands

“A brief and elegant capture of a sunset in Ghizo, Solomon Islands.”
~ Kerrie Kennedy, the whl.travel local connection in Solomon Islands

Istanbul, Turkey, in 7000 Frames

“I liked this piece’s romantic pictures of old Stamboul, but what this video fails to capture is the notion of living in Istanbul! The city has over 16 million inhabitants, which don’t make enough of an appearance here. You have to come and spend some time in the city to feel the reality of that size and pace.”
~ Gerardo Oude Hergelink, Istanbul, Turkey

Cambodian Sun over Siem Reap

“I can’t think of many places that inspire more of a sense of awe than Angkor Wat at sunrise, which is why ‘sunrise at Angkor Wat’ comes up high up on many travellers’ lists of things to do in Siem Reap, Cambodia. There’s a special moment just before the sun breaks and the sky vividly displays the colours of dawn, gradually changing from pitch black through various shades of red, orange, pink and purple.”
~ Thomas Holdo Hansen, the whl.travel local connection in Siam Reap, Cambodia

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WHL Group

WHL Group is the largest local-travel company in the world, a global network of companies that help travellers find unique ways to experience a destination through local tourism professionals. WHL Group companies empower local partners who have practice in experiential and mindful travel and a local's knack for identifying, explaining and sustaining the distinctive qualities of a place. Visit the WHL Group website.
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Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Cambodia, cities, Estonia, Laos, Malaysia, Malta, Nepal, opinion, Philippines, Solomon Islands, Thailand, Turkey, Vietnam, whl.travel,

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