What I love the most about Timelapse Photography is that it is a way to change your perspective. With a timelapse, you are able to see a world that you don’t see in real life, because timelapsing is about playing with time and images. It makes you focus on some part of a place you sometimes don’t see or don’t pay attention to: clouds, transports, people – all of this is moving. And above that, you get mountains, you get buildings, you get arts. Timelapse photography reveals the beauty of fixed elements.
My name is Antoine Poirier, I’m 25-years-old, and I’m an embedded software engineer based in Paris. Working as a freelancer, I help my clients to bring smart behaviour to their electronic products. The applicative fields are very diverse: smart ventilation, Covid vaccines, temperature tracking, boat geo-localisation, drones for search & rescue, animal tracking, etc. I’m not linked to a specific domain like aerospace or security. A new mission could be a new field, and one of the challenges is to make my skills fit with the field’s requirements.
I grew up and did my studies in Nantes, close to the French Atlantic Ocean coast. Nantes is a surprising city, very cultural, and where art takes a particular place. You can even see a big elephant walking down the streets!
I moved to Paris because, after 20 years in Nantes, I wanted to discover new places. In Paris, I discovered a lot of museums, historic monuments, awesome restaurants, and a varied nightlife. The other main reason is the central position of Paris in France, relative to public transports. I like to travel a lot across the country when I have some time. One weekend, you can find me chilling on a beach in Bretagne (west of France), and the next weekend hiking in the French Alps!
Outside of work, my hobbies are shared between travelling, sport, and photography. And what I like the most is to mix them. I really like to go hiking in the mountains – I’m always targeting new places, new lakes, and new points of view that I haven’t been to before. I always bring my camera with me for either usual landscape photography or doing a timelapse.
I first became interested in Timelapse Photography when I watched a video of Rob Whitworth, a British photographer who specialises in Timelapses and is a master of motion and time. I really enjoyed the way he could make you visit a place in a few minutes with an incredible rhythm. The first video I saw was his video called Dubai Flow Motion in 4K. I was always captivated by his videos, and I visualised them frame by frame to understand how the transitions were made.
I then searched for other timelapse or flow motion videos and watched other timelapsers, such as Kirill Neiezmhakov and his Timelapse of Paris. I noticed that no timelapse had been published on YouTube for my hometown Nantes, so I decided I should learn timelapsing to make one.
I followed several tutorials, tried my first timelapse sequences at home, and then started to go outside. However, I was not very efficient at the start; I made a lot of mistakes (there was sometimes not enough motion in a sequence). I took a lot of time to use software for Timelapse processing. I believe it took me a year to publish my first Timelapse video on YouTube.
When it comes to subjects for my photography, I prefer nature to people; I like to take my time and not be dependent on someone’s interactions. With Timelapsing, I like to have multiple sources of motion – it could be clouds, water, people walking, human activities, or transports.
I use a Canon 600D + 18-135mm for my photography. It’s obviously not professional equipment, but I believe it still does the job. Timelapse photography is not always about wide landscape; sometimes you need to zoom in to get the details: a clock, a shop, the sunset with a good shape, etc.
My favourite timelapse is probably the last one I did for Nantes: it’s called This is Nantes. It is about showing the same places at both day and night, at the same time on the screen.
Now that I live in Paris, I have some difficulty doing photography and Timelapses. This city has been shown everywhere; all the major monuments have been caught on every angle. Of course, there are always new possibilities from various lights and external elements. But in Paris, I don’t get the atypical timelapse scenes that I look for when I do photography. So my next projects are more about doing photography far from home, either when hiking in the mountains or when travelling abroad.
I see a few similarities between embedded engineering and timelapse photography. With both, you need to be very focused on what you’re doing, but you also have to be patient and think global (about the final object behaviour or about the final video) to do as little rework as possible. Both you also need anticipation and preparation. For embedded software, you have to read a lot of documentation about the hardware you use. For timelapsing, you have to plan your trip, sometimes even go on Google Street View and see where you can go.
My experiences with Timelapse Photography have been a benefit to my technological career. I learned to be organised and rigorous during my engineering studies, mostly with science. I use these skills when I’m preparing the settings before a Timelapse sequence. In another way, I started photography when I was a student and I set up my own business to create timelapses for companies. That was not a billion-dollar story but still enough to pay for my student flat, and I learned a lot about administrative and financial tasks. When I had to launch my own business with embedded software engineering as a freelancer, everything worked well, as I was prepared for company formalities and walking on a mostly-known path.
My advice to anyone interested in timelapse photography is to be patient. If you’re not, timelapse photography is probably not for you. Then you have to watch several timelapse videos, try to reproduce some composition and transitions first, and finally find your own way to make the best of what you want to show with timelapses.
There is always more than tech. Every technologist is learning from their passions. When you share your passions, you share a lot of skills, ways of working, and ways to process a subject in your professional life. Of course, more than that, this is a way to discover new hobbies, sometimes unknown or not popular, and maybe find a new one that suits you.
Antoine’s YouTube Channel: Antoine Poirier
Antoine’s Instagram Page: https://www.instagram.com/antoine_prr/