Video: Slow Life by Daniel Stoupin

Slow Life on Wetpixel

Photographer and filmmaker Daniel Stoupin has created an amazing focus stacked time-lapse film consisting of 15,000 exposures and featuring stunning scenes of corals in motion. The actual film is at 4K resolution, using 22 MP images, although Vimeo embeds and displays it at 1080 HD.

Daniel describes the film:

“Slow” marine animals show their secret life under high magnification. Corals and sponges are very mobile creatures, but their motion is only detectable at different time scales compared to ours and requires time lapses to be seen. These animals build coral reefs and play crucial roles in the biosphere, yet we know almost nothing about their daily lives

Each frame consists of between three to 12 stills. In turn, each still was shot with a slightly different focus point, which when then combined give an expanded depth of field. This focus stacking process took around 10 minutes per frame which helps explain why the film took 9 months to make. In fact, once captured and the frames image stacked, it still took 3 weeks to render on the creators lap top!

The project was shot primarily with a Canon EOS 5D Mark III and an MP-E 65mm f/2.8 1-5x Macro lens, although an EOS 7D was used for some of the initial sequences (it died early on). In addition, Daniel used a variety of motorized stages including a Cognisys StackShot for focus stacking, three different adjustable custom-spectrum lamps for lighting, and a raft of computers running Adobe Photoshop CS6, Zerene Stacker, Helicon Focus and Sony Vegas to process it all.