Project Yosemite: HD Time-Lapse Video in Yosemite National Park

Project Yosemite: HD Time-Lapse Video in Yosemite National Park

From Half Dome to Yosemite Falls to the giant sequoias of Mariposa Grove, Yosemite National Park is one of the most spectacular landscapes in America.  Project Yosemite, a collaboration of videographers Sheldon Neill and Colin Delehanty, has captured that beauty in a stunning time-lapse video, Yosemite HD.  We asked Sheldon and Colin about what went into this amazing project. 

MapQuest: What sparked the idea for Project Yosemite?

Colin and Sheldon:  We both wanted to shoot time-lapses from the summit of Half Dome, which to our knowledge had never been done before. After that first trip we decided to collaborate on a much bigger project. We wanted to capture more of Yosemite and consolidate our best work into one video.

How did the the two of you meet?

I contacted Sheldon after seeing his video ‘Cottonwood Lakes to Mount Whitney‘ through Vimeo. He answered some questions for me about carrying the Dynamic Perception motion time-lapse dolly into the backcountry. After going back and forth through email, we decided to plan a trip together.

What did your previous adventures in time-lapse video involve?

Sheldon: Before our idea of time-lapsing Yosemite came about, my original experiences with time-lapse photography began in its early stages with backpacking Sequoia National Park and Inyo National Forest. It started as a cool way to document my trips, but later turned into an outlet for sharing my adventures when I released my first time-lapse video ‘Cottonwood Lakes to Mount Whitney‘. It was shortly after that I met Colin on Vimeo, and then began our journey to create and share a film showcasing Yosemite National Park.  (My original inspiration for time-lapse photography began once I saw a film called ‘The Mountain’ by TSO Photography — now the most popular video on Vimeo.com today.

Colin: I started practicing time-lapse photography about a year before shooting Yosemite HD. I would normally capture time-lapses while out climbing. I think my obsession with landscape photography started the first time I brought a camera to Bishop, California.

How long did the video take to capture and create?  How many trips and overnights were involved?

We spent 19 non-consecutive days shooting Yosemite HD. We met in Yosemite two separate times, and made two to three trips on our own as well. We camped at Camp 4, but spent most nights out shooting.

How many individual photos did you take to create the time-lapse video?

The video is made up of 5,600 RAW photos, but if you include the time-lapses that weren’t in the video, the number would be doubled.

Was there any one favorite moment you experienced during the creation of the project?

The iconic moment of our trip was our first night at the summit of half-dome. We spent the night alone time-lapsing different viewpoints of Yosemite. We’ll never forget how awesome it was gazing at the stars and watching the moon rise above the horizon as shadows filled the valley.

How much equipment did you carry into the park each trip?

Our list of gear is endless, but our packs on average weighed roughly between 70-80 pounds — depending on what we had available to us.

What do you have in the works for people who want to see more?

Right now we’re in Yosemite working hard to collect more footage. You can follow us on Twitter (twitter.com/projectyose) or Facebook (facebook.com/projectyose) to get updates.

Yosemite HD by Project Yosemite on Vimeo