Philadelphia, an American city steeped in history, hasn’t always got the attention it deserves for its beauty. But a video recently published by local photographer Cory J Popp goes a long way towards rectifying that.
Popp’s video, called Philadelphia in Motion, was made over 12 months and includes nearly 10,000 images. The photos were shot using a Sony a7s and a7s II, a Canon 28mm f1.8 lens, a small travel tripod and an intervalometer, and an attachment that operates the camera’s shutter at regular intervals to create time-lapse photography. Popp then used Adobe’s Lightroom and LRTimelapse to compose the time-lapses and Adobe Premiere Pro to edit the video.
The video features some breathtaking shots of popular Philadelphia landmarks, as well as image of the whole city from high-up vantage points. All of the photos capture the city’s constant motion. Time-lapse footage is filmed over a long time and then played back quickly.
For Popp, the inspiration for the video came from the city he shoots regularly. “I shoot Philly videos all the time, so the inspiration has always been the same. I like to show off the city I live in, especially because of the bad it’s gotten over the last few decades. When most people think about Philadelphia, there’s usually a negative connotation, but in reality Philadelphia is a very beautiful city,” he tells The Culture Trip.
He says that the most challenging shots were the ones from up high. “Rooftop shots are pretty tough, between wind and the fear of dropping something off the building, shooting from rooftops can be pretty tricky.”
Popp used a tried-and-tested technique to ensure he captured the movement of the city. “To film time-lapses, I record a photograph every two seconds for eight minutes, which gives me a total of 240 images that I stitch together in editing. This shows some really incredible movement and patterns in a shot that you wouldn’t normally see in real time. You’ll see clouds flow beautifully through the city, cars leaving light streaks at night, and the sun change lighting as it arcs around the city,” he explains.
The end result is deeply impressive, and captures Philadelphia in a unique way. “The scenes in this video were shot all over the city to show how the city moves, and when played back quickly through time-lapse footage, it makes Philadelphia feel alive in a unique way,” Popp concludes.
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