A time lapse posted to YouTube that shows commercial jets landing in San Diego Airport in a 5-hour period on Friday, Nov. 23 is going viral. The video looks like a war time reel showing a fighter jet squadron taking off to join an aerial battle.
The time lapse video was shot and posted to YouTube by California photography and film professor Cy Kuckenbaker, who filmed up to 70 planes landing at the international airport between 10.30 a..m and 3 p.m. and processed the shots into a composite 25-second time lapse video. With his camera facing up rather than toward the horizon, he shot individual planes flying across the sky against the background of a pure blue sky and then processed the blue sky as though it were a blue or green screen in the background.
The professor explains that to give the video a sense of time passage as the planes fly by, he did an 8 hour time-lapse under San Diego's 1st Street bridge at the same angle and composited it over the planes. Kuckenbaker explains,
"Without it there’s no sense of time passing. I used an intervalometer to shoot about 800 images with the same exposure as the video. Once I had it posted as a regular video clip, I keyed the sky out of it as well. I put everything together in Adobe Premiere, which challenged my system since I needed 40 video tracks to stack all the airplane clips together."
Then he included a still sky image with depth and clouds.
Petapixel reports the professor said he got his inspiration for the time lapse from a picture composite showing dozens of planes taking off at the same time from Ho-Yeol Ryu at Hannover Airport.
Kuckenbaker told Petapixel:
"I moved to a new neighborhood in San Diego a little over a year ago that put me close to the San Diego International Airport. Since then I have become increasingly interested in the rhythms of the airport and the airplanes themselves. San Diego has an unusual flight path that brings the planes in low right over the center of the city and they have to drop rapidly behind a hill to make the runway. When I saw a composite still image on PetaPixel of every airplane that took off in a day from a European airport I started to wonder if I could do something similar with video."
The video posted to YouTube under the user name cykuck250, has been viewed almost 10,000 times