A unique video view of Bangkok

A unique video view of Bangkok

When you watch this time-lapse film of Bangkok by Saengthit Kamlangchai you are going to be impressed. Guaranteed. But how did he do it? Find out from the young photographer himself and then give it a try.

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Time-lapse photography can catch the amazing transitions in nature, like moving clouds and sunset.

A unique video view of Bangkok

When you watch this time-lapse film by Saengthit Kamlangchai you are going to be impressed. Guaranteed. (Be sure to watch a second time after you have read the story. You will see things that you didn't see the first time.)

Saengthit is a 28-year-old graduate of Assumption University of Thailand who has also studied in Singapore. He speaks Thai, of course, plus English and Chinese.

Just about everyone will likely be interested in how the film was produced and some of you might be tempted to try to make your own time-lapse film, so I asked Saengthit to briefly explain the process.

He said he first got interested in time-lapse photography after watching a film by Shane Black called Adventure Is Calling, saying it is "one of the most beautiful things I've seen in life." And after watching another time-lapse film by Andreas Fernbrant entitled HELSINGBORG - THE CITY BY THE SEA, he decided to do one for Bangkok as well.

He said the time-lapse techniques involved are largely self-taught from tutorials on the Internet.

What are those techniques?

"Only two techniques are used in creating the film," Saengthit says. They are are called Time Lapse and Hyperlapse photography.

"Time Lapse involves taking a still picture of the same scene every few seconds for a period of time. Then you combine these pictures together into a film. Usually, 30 pictures are combined into 1 second of the film. Keep in mind that these 30 pictures are taken over a period of time. For example, if you take a picture every 2 seconds, you get 30 pictures in 1 minute. These 30 pictures are then combined into 1 second of a film, which means 1 second in the film is equivalent to 1 minute of real time.

"This is the reason why you can see the amazing transition of moving clouds and sunset in a few seconds of a Time Lapse film, something which our naked eyes can't perceive in real life.

As you watch notice the movements of position (Hyperlapse photography) as well as the passing of time.

With Hyperlapse, everything is the same as Time Lapse except that the image has a moving screen effect. This is done by shifting your position for every photo you take.

"I did my own editing by using the software Adobe After Effect and Adobe Lightroom. It doesn't take long to edit a scene once you get used to it (not more than 10 minutes for a single scene). The part which takes lots of time is the rendering process, where you combine all the edited photos into the movie clip. Note that I'm using a Windows 7 machine; the process should improve a lot after I get a Macbook"

Equipment is important, of course. For his Bangkok film, Saengthit used a Canon 5D Mark III camera with 14mm and 24-70mm lenses. He used a tripod to keep the shots steady and a instrument called an Intervalometer. This tool automatically clicks the camera button for you according to the time interval you specify (every second, two seconds, five seconds, etc.)

Saengthit says you do not need to be a professional to do this.

Saengthit warns that some high "birds-eye view" locations charge high fees for filming, so you need good communication skills to get around that.

"Everyone with a camera should be able to do this. Even a camera phone can do it although the quality may not be as good as a professional camera. However, if you want to produce a quality Time Lapse scene, both the tripod and Intervalometer are recommended or else your scene will be shaky and the time interval will not be smooth.

Saengthit says more films are on the way; his next time-lapse film will be in Chiang Mai. I will let you know when they are released.

In his film "Bangkok - The Beauty of Faith" (his second film on Bangkok), Saengthit sought to encapsulate the essence of the city; its modernization, its culture and its devotion to Thai Kings. Here are a list of the locations featured in the film:

Modernization Locations

South Sathorn Business District Views
Asiatique The River Front
Central World
Chong Nonsi Bridge
Praram VIII bridge
Dusit palace

Cultural Architecture and Monuments

Wat Arun
Wat Prakaew
Wat Pho
Wat Benchamabopit
Chakri Maha Prasat Hall
Democracy Monuments

The Monuments to Kings

King Rama I
King Rama II
King Rama III
King Rama V
King Rama VIII
King Taksin

Learn from listening

Click play to listen to audio for this story, or download to save the file
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  • combine: to mix or be put together - รวมกัน
  • encapsulate (verb): to express the most important parts of something in a few words, a small space or a single object - สรุป, เอาเฉพาะใจความสำคัญ
  • equivalent: the same as; equal to - เท่าเทียมกันกับ
  • essence: the most important part of something, usually the part that gives it its general character - แก่น
  • fee: an amount of money that you pay to be allowed to do something - ค่าธรรมเนียม
  • graduate: a person who has a university degree - ผู้รับปริญญา, ผู้สำเร็จการศึกษา
  • guaranteed: certain - แน่นอน, รับรอง
  • impressed: to admire or respect someone/something - ประทับใจ
  • interval (noun): a period of time between two events - ช่วงเวลา, ช่วง, ระยะเวลา
  • naked eye (noun): the normal power of your eyes without the help of an instrument like a telescope - ตาเปล่า
  • perceive: to come to an opinion about something, or have a belief about something - รับรู้
  • process: a series of actions that you take in order to achieve a result - แนวทางปฏิบัติ, กระบวน, วิธีการ
  • professional: a person who does a job that needs special training and a high level of education - ผู้เชี่ยวชาญในวิชาชีพ,ผู้มีวิชาชีพ
  • real time: actual time; dealing with information as soon as it is received - ตามเวลาจริง
  • recommend (verb): to advise someone that they should do something - แนะนำ
  • rendering process (noun): generating an image from a model, photo, etc. (or models, photos) in what collectively could be called a scene file), by means of computer programs -
  • scene: a view that you can see in a picture or from the place where you are - วิว,,ภาพ, ทิวทัศน์,ทัศนียภาพ
  • shaky: not stable - ไม่มั่นคง
  • shift: to change - เปลี่ยน
  • steady: firmly fixed, supported or balanced; not shaking or likely to fall down - มั่นคง
  • still: not moving - นิ่ง
  • sunset: the time of the evening when the sun is no longer seen - พระอาทิตย์ตกดิน
  • technique: a method of doing something using a special skill that you have developed - เทคนิค, กลวิธี (เฉพาะด้าน)
  • tempt (verb): to make people want to have something, do something, etc - ล่อใจ,ยั่วใจ
  • time-lapse (adj.): (of photography) using a method in which a series of individual pictures of a process are shown together so that something that really happens very slowly is shown as happening very quickly - ซึ่งเกี่ยวกับเทคนิคการถ่ายภาพอย่างช้าๆ
  • transition: the process of changing from one situation, form or state to another - ช่วงการเปลี่ยนแปลง
  • tripod: an object with three legs that is used for supporting something such as a camera - ขาตั้งสามขา
  • tutorial: instructions on how to do something - การเรียนพิเศษ
  • unique: being the only one of its kind - ซึ่งเป็นหนึ่งเดียว

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