Hyperlapse: Howard University (Founders Library)

I decided to play around with hyperlapses (moving time-lapse) when I visited DC in January and it was both amazing and a real pain in the ass. You are basically taking a picture of  something then taking a step forward (or backward or to the side) and taking another picture and on and on.

There is something very meditative about the process. It was also not so great for my middle-aged joints though as I slowly inched forward taking pictures holding what would become a heavy Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera.

The clock tower at Howard University‘s Founders Library was my first hyperlapse subject.  It was amazing being back on campus.  What I thought was going to take a few minutes ended up being at least 45 minutes and 175 pictures.  At some point a group of HU students tried to engage with me but I was terribly incoherent as I tried to figure out how to work the camera to get the hyperlapse right before the sun went down completely.

The editing in DaVinci Resolve involved putting the photos in a timeline, eliminating dupes, stabilizing the shots to smoothen the jerkiness, adding the alma mater track, masking out the tower so the words can go in front of and behind the tower and finally color grading.

I had planned to only export and upload a standard horizontal video but figured I should export a vertical version as well since the apps were making vertical a (the?) standard now.  I uploaded both versions to YouTube to see if there was a difference in views if I did no kind of promotions for either video. The results were shocking.

I knew that the YouTube algorithm would favor the vertical one because of the way shorts (vertical videos under 1 minute) were being promoted and supported through the algorithm and their auto-loop feature but I had no idea by how much.  So after 4 months of being on YouTube with no kind of promotion from me, the horizontal video only managed to get 11 views and no other interaction but the vertical one drummed up 867 (!!!) views and 17 likes.  Huge difference!

So moving forward I know that there should be an accompanying YouTube shorts video with a horizontal video for wider reach and a YouTube shorts version to promote longer horizontal videos.


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