High-speed camera shooting FROM a train

Graeme Taylor shot out the window of a train at 210 frames per second, reversing the usual trick of shooting and slowing down a high-speed object from a stationary spot; rather, he shot a stationary spot from a high-speed object. The effect is something like a mundane bullet-time, where the world has stopped so that no one can do much of anything. It's mesmerizing.

As Jason Kottke writes, "Wonderful illustration of the concept of frames of reference."

Both glides were filmed by sticking a - relatively cheap - digital camera out of the window of a train as it arrived at a station. The 'trick' is the camera collects images at a rate of 210 per second - but the film is played back at 30 frames per second. So, every seven seconds of footage that you watch corresponds to 1 real second. At least at the start, one real second is plenty of time for someone to move into, then out of, the camera's field of view, but isn't enough time for them to really do much: hence, the frozen effect. It breaks down towards the end not because I'm doing something clever with the frame rates (captured or replayed), but simply because the train was stopping! Thus, as it decelerated, any given person would be in view for longer, and have more time to point an arm, take a few steps along the platform, or maybe even notice me at the window. Any such action captured is still slowed down seven-fold during playback, just as with my usual static captures.

At least one other person has tried this before: Trey Ratcliff captured a station in Japan this way over a year ago, describing the effect as "Stuck in motion". He also mixes in other slow motion footage and its inverse, time lapse photography, in this gorgeous video, Heartbeats of Time.

"Pointless, action-free and totally mesmerising"

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