A Room With A View: A year of timelapses from hotel rooms!

Sure I have been accused of being timelapse obsessed (as can be witnessed in this spoof video of the show intervention), always doing timelapses in hotels am staying at BUT there was a reason behind this. With the lots of travelling I was doing I thought a nice project would be to do timelapses of each view and stick them all together in a film…well just over a year after my last timelapse (October ’09 to October ’10) I have finally edited them all together. Unfortunately due to some catastrophic hard drive failures of the main drives and backups I lost about 6 or so timelapses which is a shame, they were mostly quite average views but that was the point of the film. Some of the views are spectacular, others less so (Manhattan Beach view being a highlight!)

I used all sorts of cameras but mostly my Canon DSLRs, the Nikon D3s and the Ricoh point and shoot! Many were done through windows, some on balaconies and a few just outside of the room…I cheated a little there, but I could still the camera from my room so that counts…right?!

Some of the shots used have been used in other films, like Sky and Monument Valley. Monument Valley was probably the most amazing view, from a hotel called “the View”, at one point I had i believe 5 or 6 cameras catching different shots from the balcony as I was only there one night!

I have to say I enjoyed the project but I am thankful the constant clicking of timelapse cameras whilst I was sleeping did start to drive me nuts. I still do timelapses of spectacular views but they have to be pretty special these days!

Big thanks to Eric Kessler of KesslerCrane.com for introducing me to his awesome motion controlled Cineslider and of course the new Philip Bloom Sig Edition slider. With the Oracle controller and the Revolution head I have had enormous fun experimenting with moving timelapses!

Room with a view: 1 year of timelapses from hotel windows from Philip Bloom on Vimeo.


  1. Great shots Philip!!
    I’m going to be a timelapse addict also!!
    It’s so magical and eye catching! Btw the music matched perfectly with each shot! That’s really great!!

    I have 2 questions:

    1 -What are the intervals that you used to use in the day and in the night?
    2- When you have day to night transitions which camera set do you use (M, Av or Tv)?

    My points for that:
    I’m just beginner in timelapses, but I noticed better results when I used 5s to 7s of interval (night and day) and 18s for obturator at night.
    For the normal shot I’m using M position in the camera but for the day to night transitions (or vise versa) I used Av position in the camera but I noticed that it generate a smal flicker between the shot, is it right? Are there some way to correct that in order to keep the better exposure?

    Again congrats for your great video(s) and thanks a lot for share with us your knowledge!!

  2. This confirms it. You’re my hero. I don’t know how you do it. I travel a lot myself and the idea of being that diligent in each place to do this is daunting.

    Looking forward to meeting you in Miami on March 18th.

    Jonathan Schneider

    PS: When you get a chance, I’d love to hear more about how you select music for these videos (process, thought behind it, etc.).

  3. These are great, please share how you get those day to night/night to day time lapse shots, in full manual i never have the range, it’s always to dark or to bright to capture, and the transition of your street lights suggests you have something running auto but with out flicker.

  4. “the constant clicking of timelapse cameras whilst I was sleeping did start to drive me nuts. I still do timelapses of spectacular views but they have to be pretty special these days!”

    Oh how true this statement is, I sympathize with you. Not to mention if you do timelapse out in the streets you have to wait for hours keeping an eye on it to make sure no one steals your gear.

  5. Wow, that’s a lot of travelling you’ve done, great work!

    A question about your Philip Bloom kessler crane slider, is there anywhere selling them in the UK? I would love to avoid the shipping cost and duty taxes if anyway possible!


  6. Epic. I’d love to read a blog post about how you keep on track of all your FCP projects. What with footage being shot all the time and several projects on the go getting into the tens of Terabytes by now I imagine, how do you keep track of it all? Which hard drives do you trust all your footage with, how do you store it all, and if you have multiple copies for safety sake how do you make sure they’re all mirrors of eachother if you go back and tweak an old project. I’d love to know how you stay organised, that’s a big talent of yours with the amount that you’re shooting all the time. I’m sure we could all take some pointers from your workflow and organisation ethics.

  7. Great stuff. Nice way to show how to take advantage of your down time.

    I especially liked how the building between the trees in St. Petersburg, one of the most boring shots in the group, all of a sudden burst into a lightning storm. Just goes to show how the unexpected can happen, and if you’re prepared, you can take advantage of it.

    Also loved the wiggling boats in New Buffalo, and the Umbria Italy sky beam.

    Would love to travel more, like that. Good luck with your future endeavors.

    Sorry to hear about your GH2 setup sleeping with the fishes, too! Thank goodness for insurance, right? and you’re lucky. You can pick up a new one easily in the UK. They are an endangered species in the US.

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