Kevin Biskaborn’s time-lapse video of Lake Simcoe shot over several months shows Kempenfelt Bay in all of its glory, depending on your affinity toward the four full seasons we see in Barrie.
The 32-year-old web and graphic designer moved to Barrie two years ago and immediately fell in love with the city’s majestic views. So he started shooting time-lapse videos from an east-end highrise in the historic Kempenfelt Village area.
“I certainly felt privileged to have access to that vantage point throughout the year and wanted to be able to share the unique views of Kempenfelt Bay and downtown Barrie as the seasons changed,” he told BarrieToday.
Biskaborn said he started perfecting the time-lapse technique last summer, just as thunderstorms began rolling in over the bay.
“At this height, you could see the dark storm fronts approaching well in advance, giving me time to set up a camera,” he said. “But once the storm was close, the challenge was to keep the camera still and dry in the high winds and rain.”
That wasn’t easy; you can see camera shake in some sequences, as well as rain and snow hitting the lens.
“The footage of the storms was so striking, it motivated me to keep filming the bay as interesting weather patterns moved through,” Biskaborn said.
To make time-lapse photography work well, Biskaborn said you need a fair amount of movement to make the sequence interesting and convey the changes that are happening over time. That includes everything from clouds and vehicles, to anglers on the ice and a flotilla of pleasure craft zipping around the lake.
“The trick is you often have to start recording a time-lapse before you really know something of interest will happen,” Biskaborn said. “This means you end up with many sequences that get discarded and you have to keep motivated to try again at the next opportunity.”
Biskaborn, who also recently shared with BarrieToday an underwater video of a school of fish, said showcasing the changing seasons and weather over Kempenfelt Bay became the main goal of his time-lapse project.
“I wanted to merge as many eye-catching, time-lapse sequences as possible into a single video,” he said.
It’s not a full representation of weather on the lake, Biskaborn said. Some of the calmer days ended up on the proverbial cutting-room floor; he chose to include as many visually appealing and movement as possible.
Another challenge in the time-lapse project was consistently setting up the camera in the same location.
“Showing changes in a single sequence is one thing, but showing the changes over four seasons is another,” said Biskaborn, adding he had to be more flexible with angle and placement of the camera.
His camera was generally always pointed over the bay to include Minet's Point, Centennial Beach and downtown Barrie.
“However, depending on the scene and the direction of movement, the exact framing was adjusted,” he added.
The final video uses 33 time-lapse sequences, encapsulating all four seasons, beginning with autumn and ending in the summer. In total, Biskaborn said close to 120 sequences were photographed.
“Clips that were omitted were ones that did not turn out to have enough movement, ones that were too similar to another clip already used or ones where the camera and tripod setup was not able to hold a position in strong winds, resulting in a shaky and abrupt time-lapse sequence,” he said.
On the technical side, each resulting clip was between 20 to 480 seconds long. On average, the camera was capturing frames at a speed of two per second, and a frame rate of 30 frames per second.
“Stunning visuals aside, what I found incredible while filming this project was just how much life and activity takes places in and around Lake Simcoe, regardless of the season,” Biskaborn said. “As with most bodies of water, it plays a central role for the majority of those who live near it. If you're not planning of doing something on or near the water, you're most likely thinking about when you will be next.”