Eric Hines just released his new portrait of Chicago, a city he has been fascinated with since he was a kid. We had a chance to talk with him about the experience shooting the piece — which consists of over 30,000 still photographs shot on the Canon 5D Mark III incrementally between July and October 2012.
Kessler University (KU): Tell me a little about yourself.
Eric Hines (EH): I am a photographer from Northwest Indiana trying to my way into the filmmaking industry using timelapse photography as my initial medium.
I started with still photography about 3 years ago, after saving up for a dslr. A year after that, I discovered timelapse, and really became intrigued with it. After reading more and more into how it worked, I ordered an intervalometer and started shooting timelapses the day it came. From there I continued to shoot and learn more about it.
KU: Would love to know more about the project itself. What are you hoping to accomplish from the film?
EH: The inspiration to start this project came from a long fascination with Chicago, particularly at night. As a kid, growing up not far from the city, I had visited a few times and was always impressed by the fast-paced nature of the city and the way it looked in the dark. I had never really explored much of Chicago before I started working on the video, so it became a sort of adventure to scout locations and capture them the way I wanted. I knew the most challenging part would be getting access to certain locations above the city, but was very fortunate to recieve the help from some Chicagoans after reaching out to them with my ideas. This helped secure some of my favorite sequences in the piece.
KU: What was it like using the gear? How did you use it to help tell the visual story?
EH: I can’t say enough good things about the products Kessler Crane creates. Driving an hour in and out of the city, weather conditions and timing were often unpredictable, but I could always rely on the gear. It’s simplicity to set up and reliability has made me a die-hard fan. Shooting timelapse in the field, there are many variables, and you never know what could happen that may ruin a shot. Being able to rely on your gear is key, and valuable to what you are working on. It can also be key to keeping your audience engaged and help you create new elements in shots. Movement in a sequence can help your composition become even more dramatic and powerful. Using motion control allows you to see shots you might not have seen before and makes them possible.
KU: What can we expect next from you?
EH: Cityscape Chicago to me is the beginning of a portrait of the city. There are still many things I would love to film there and will continue to capture it in different ways. My hopes are to at some point be able to incorporate more video and slow motion sequences into my work with a digital cinema camera and branch off into more genres of cinematography, allowing myself to continue to learn more of the art, and grow as a filmmaker. I still have a major passion for my still photography work as well, and hope to continue to travel to new places to practice both forms of media.