For Your Inspiration: The Man Who Controls Time

In these videos, its as if this man controls time itself while surveying beautiful cities, vistas, or landmarks. For more than 30 years Geoff Tompkinson has traveled the world as a photographer and he is the “Man Who Controls Time”.

Geoff Tompkinson

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It is painfully obvious that we have dubbed Geoff Tompkinson his new nickname—but it is very fitting. Geoff creates some of the most captivating hyperlapse videos I have seen in recent memory, and he’s a great guy to boot. Geoff has worked, at different times, in many fields such as photojournalism, corporate, advertising, stock, 3D concepts and latterly timelapse and realtime motion clips. His work has appeared in most of the world’s reportage publications including The Sunday Times, Sunday Express, Avenue, Ca M’interesse, Smithsonian, Life, Discover, National Geographic, Bunte, Stern and GEO. If his accolades weren’t enough, check out his videos; the man is for real.

Geoff Tompkinson

His timelapse and realtime footage regularly appears on television all over the world as well as in major Hollywood movies (you’ll notice you’ve seen a few of his greats here). After following Geoff for some time, and featuring a few of his videos on our Tuesday For Your Inspirations, we reached out to him and decided to get a little bit more info on this mysterious time traveler.

‘The Lake’ from geoff tompkinson on Vimeo.

What are some of your challenges in creating this type of video work and photography?

I have been working pretty well full time on timelapse production all over the world since 2001, but I still encounter the occasional hitch.

A lot of things have changed since then, however, both in terms of camera technology and techniques. I perfected a technique of producing smooth, step-free day to night lapses in the very early years (well before bulb ramping devices were even dreamed of). I still do my day to night lapses in the same way and have not yet moved over to using bulb ramping on actual shoots, though this is something I continue to experiment with.

HYPERLAPSE 2012 from geoff tompkinson on Vimeo.

When and why did you get started doing hyperlapse videos?

Over the years I have had to keep at the forefront of what is possible with timelapse in order to remain successful in the marketplace, this is an ongoing and highly competitive challenge. I recently embraced the new technique of large distance stop-motion timelapse (commonly now called Hyperlapse) and have developed rigs and techniques which allow me to produce smooth, complex movements over multiple terrain types such as water. Over the next few years I will be taking this technique back to those world locations to utilize this technique and build on, and expand, what I had filmed in the past.

DUBAI – city on the move from geoff tompkinson on Vimeo.

We started this hyperlapse project in late 2012 in St.Petersburg where, after months of negotiation, we obtained permission to use the technique inside the World Famous Hermitage Museum , dubbed “Moving Through The Hermitage”.

Very quickly, what are some of the software and tools you use?

Without listing everything, I use Canon for all my photography needs. After all the footage is captured, I spent the rest of the time building the video in Adobe After Effects with all editing done on PCs (sorry Mac guys).

Just getting ready for the office

What are your plans for the new year?

Moving into 2013, I have recently finished a 2-year project called The Lake which is a reflective homage to Lake Hallstatt in Upper Austria. This video, amongst other techniques, makes use of my over water hyperlapse rig.

Current locations planned for the Hyperlapse World tour are: Barcelona, Paris, New York, Washington, Shanghai, Tokyo, Singapore, Moscow and likely many, many more…

Up Up & Away from geoff tompkinson on Vimeo.

Final Words?

“I would love to put together a Blue-Ray dvd and Book about my 13 years traveling the world as a timelapse producer, and when I get enough followers on Vimeo and Facebook to make the project look viable, I will do just that.” —Geoff Tompkinson

The short time I have spent talking with Geoff, he is a true artist and gentlemen with a tenacious appetite for high quality artwork. You can see and get a hold of Geoff at his many great social and video hubs: VimeoFacebookTwitter, YouTube, and Geoff’s official website.

If you love Geoff’s stuff, check out his videos and his site and see if you can help him get to build his book and Blu-Ray of all his beautiful captures. What do you think of hyperlapse? How do these videos compare to other similar styles you might have seen? Let us know in the comments below!