How Digital Technology Enhances the Planet Earth Series With Slow-Motion and Timelapse Techniques

In the second episode of a three-part miniseries, Joss Fong and Dion Lee of Vox take a deep look into the history of slow-motion and timelapse techniques in BBC Earth series Planet Earth and Planet Earth II. As in the first part of the series, Fong looks at the process both before and after digital photography. In this case, the process capturing images in slow-motion on film was an uncertain task, while digital allows filmmakers to be specifically exact and experiment with new techniques.

That series also introduced the technique of tracking timelapse, where the camera moves too. Now, digital cameras come with the ability to program a timelapse sequence, and motorized sliders can automate tracking timelapses. So the BBC keeps pushing the technique further. …in the cities episode of Planet Earth 2, they showcased a new type of timelapse called “hyperlapse.” …It might not look like the style of traditional wildlife films, but in fact the tradition at the BBC has always been to seize new technology and techniques to capture the world in brand new ways.

Part One of the series.

Lori Dorn
Lori Dorn

Lori is a Laughing Squid Contributing Editor based in New York City who has been writing blog posts for over a decade. She also enjoys making jewelry, playing guitar, taking photos and mixing craft cocktails.