Does what it says on the tin really. I’ve popped a mobile friendly version up on Vimeo, in case you need it.

 


 

UPDATE: I’ve been asked how I put this video together. Well, prepare to witness my geekness…

 

I love little photo projects people do. Martin Parr (a hero of mine) has many collections, including parking spaces, people on mobile phones, or even the simple self portrait. His sense of humour tickles me.

 

martin-parr-empty-space03martin-parr-empty-space02martin-parr-empty-space01martin-parr-mobile-phonet02martin-parr-mobile-phonet01martin-parr-mobile-phonet03martin-parr-self-portrait02martin-parr-self-portrait01martin-parr-self-portrait03

 

I’ve never found what I wanted to collect, at the end of each year I regret not having set myself a witty brief at the beginning of the year. So this year I thought what if I’ve sub-consciously collected everything? Which I have, on my phone. Just as a silly experiment, I wanted to see what would happen if I dumped all the photos I’ve taken in a year into an image sequence, no editing or cutting bits out. Would it be a mess? Would it be kinda OK, I think it’s… kinda OK. It helps that I tend to take many photos of the same thing, so the object is allowed to hang for a fraction of a second over a few frames. I was inspired by this excellent time-lapse of a road trip… I’ll be ripping this idea off soon.

 

 

To do this, first off, I have an app called DropSnap installed on my Android Phone. It automatically backs up every photo I take to Dropbox. You can do this using the official Dropbox app (on iPhone too) but DropSnap gives me some more filtering options, which means I can sync more than just the regular camera roll (Instagram, Snapseed, etc). So that’s been busy stuffing photos up into the clouds like a weird hoarder’s heaven. This made it easy to find every photo I took in 2012 and dump them in one big folder.

 

The tricky bit was preparing them for the video. All the landscape and portrait photos needed to sit central and have the extra black space on the top and bottom or the sides (depending on their orientation) to make up the space in the video. In steps the work horse that is Photoshop Image Processor! After a bit of head scratching and swearing I created a workflow that did the job. First, I made an action that puts any image into the middle of a black 1080p sized canvas. You can download mine here if you like. Then I ran the Image Processor to resize everything, combined with my action to centre them on the black background. The settings should look like this:

 

image-processor

 

Then I opened my old friend After Effects. To create an image sequence you just drag the image folder directly into the project window. I dumped the sequence into a 1080p composition, added some Tom Waits and Bob’s your Mother’s brother! I hope that’s of some help if you want to try it out yourself. It’s a nice collecting project you can do without having to even think about it. Which is good for me as I’m very poor at thinking.

  • Craig Hanna

    So I’m curious about the process to produce this video. DId you sort images into like size and shape so, for example, coffee mugs would all be clustered together? Must have been very time consuming. There’s not a web-based Animoto-style way to pull that off? And how many images did you have to work with?

    Craig H.

  • Craig Hanna

    Thanks! I’m totally doing this this year. Mine may not be suitable for family viewing if I use ALL the photos I take, but it sure will be interesting…