Photographer takes our breath away with time-lapse travel


Dubai Flow Motion is the latest time-lapse video by travel photographer/filmmaker Rob Whitworth. Photo: Rob Whitworth/YouTube
Dubai Flow Motion is the latest time-lapse video by travel photographer/filmmaker Rob Whitworth. Photo: Rob Whitworth/YouTube

When camera companies began putting a “record” button on DSLRs, things got really interesting for Rob Whitworth. Is he a photographer or a filmmaker?

The ambiguity about his work description does not matter for anyone who has taken a heart-racing, stomach-dropping ride through his time-lapse videos.

In his latest, Dubai Flow Motion, viewers will feel shot out of a canon for a three-minute hectic but thorough tour of this sparkling Middle East city. Whitworth’s camera will take you up the tallest skyscraper, send you blasting through its floors to see rooms teeming with life and send you crashing into the sea.

The camera follows a family through a mall, peeks in on an ice rink and a lone figure skater, and gives you a dusty but golden dune buggy ride through a nearby dessert.

From Rob Whitworth's Dubai Flow Motion. Photo: Rob Whitworth/YouTube
From Rob Whitworth’s Dubai Flow Motion. Photo: Rob Whitworth/YouTube

There may not be adequate words to describe the Whitworth experience. Just watch — but check your pulse, feel your eyes bug and keep your jaw from coming unhinged.

What takes just over three minutes for us to witness took Whitworth more than seven weeks to shoot, according to a recent interview he did with Nikon. A built-in intervalometer on his Nikon DSLR cameras is an important feature, allowing him to pick intervals, from four frames per second to one frame every few minutes, depending on the subject, Whitworth told Nikon. There is also an equally time-consuming post-production process.

That doesn’t count the months of scouting and preparation for a shoot. Posted to YouTube on Monday, Dubai Flow Motion got nearly 60,000 views after just a day.

The British-born Whitworth graduated from the Norwich School of Art & Design in 2005 and is now based in Hong Kong. He’s known mainly as a travel photographer; what started as only a small portion of his work, time-lapse is now the core of what he does. His clients include boards of tourism and the One Planet series for the BBC.

Visit Whitworth’s website and you can take a quick yet stunning trip around the world.

“Is it photography or is it filmmaking?” he said in the Nikon interview. “Whatever it is, I love the sense of technology creating new potential and options that are waiting to be explored.”


Daily round-ups or a weekly refresher, straight from Cult of Mac to your inbox.

  • The Weekender

    The week's best Apple news, reviews and how-tos from Cult of Mac, every Saturday morning. Our readers say: "Thank you guys for always posting cool stuff" -- Vaughn Nevins. "Very informative" -- Kenly Xavier.