Windy City Nights Chicago time lapse photographer Max Wilson

ABC7's Judy Hsu got a chance to find out how photographer Max Wilson created his two-year journey shooting Chicago at night.
February 11, 2014 7:00:05 AM PST
ABC7 Eyewitness News Anchor Judy Hsu got a chance to find out how photographer Max Wilson created his two-year journey shooting Chicago at night.

When it comes to spotting that picture perfect shot, Wilson has a knack for finding the highest point with the most gorgeous view, like the rooftop of Lake Point Tower.

"Look at this, we're out here on a beautiful winter day. Yes, it's great, imagine what it's like at night-- so spectacular with all the lights, movement of the city," said Wilson. "About four years ago I got into time lapse, practiced for 2 years. I love nighttime photography and combining the two, city at night, really show the movement of the city."

To get six minutes of a finished time lapse, it took him two years, 300 locations, and 12,000 still images. His time lapse video is rendered from pictures.

"If I shot five cameras one night, I might have 5,000 images I'd have to render out," said Wilson. "You're making the video out of these individual still images."

Once you start a sequence, Wilson says you can't touch the camera at all so the movement stays steady. Everything is programmed.

"I would program this to move along this track for an hour. Let's say I want it to take 500 pictures in a course of an hour," said Wilson.

From picture taking to editing, all of this was self-taught.

"I really got interested in photography to capture better images of my son, passion grew every year," said Wilson. "It was one more way to capture what the eyes can't see is doing a time lapse."

Additional information: www.photoalbumarchives.com and http://vimeo.com/76293321.