A Time-Lapse Series Imagines American Cities Without People

Ross Ching's 'Empty America' series begins with a tour of San Francisco's most famous landmarks, unobscured by crowds. 

Ross Ching's Empty America series begins with a tour of San Francisco's most famous landmarks, unobscured by crowds or moving cars. There's no traffic on the Golden Gate Bridge and tourist destinations are free of tourists. You might recognize the effect from Running on Empty, in which Ching cleared the busy freeways of Los Angeles to make a point about the "love-hate" relationship between humans and their cars. The project was inspired, he says, by the still photography of Matt Logue (check out the Empty L.A. series on his site). The new video, below, kicks off a series of time-lapses produced for Thrash Lab. Stay tuned to the YouTube channel for future episodes. 

Ching reveals how the effect works in this making-of video. "Believe it or not I didn't close off every street in San Francisco," he explains. Instead, he painstakingly layers still images and erases the cars one by one in Photoshop, and then composites the resulting stills with moving footage in After Effects.

For more work by Ross Ching, visit http://rossching.com/

Via Viral Viral Videos. 

Kasia Cieplak-Mayr von Baldegg is the executive producer for video at The AtlanticMore

Cieplak-Mayr von Baldegg joined The Atlantic in 2011 to launch its video channel and, in 2013, create its in-house video production department. She leads the development and production of original documentaries, interviews, and other video content for The Atlantic. Previously, she worked as a producer at Al Gore’s Current TV and as a content strategist and documentary producer in San Francisco. She studied filmmaking and digital media at Harvard University.

Before Tinder, a Tree

Looking for your soulmate? Write a letter to the "Bridegroom's Oak" in Germany.

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

Before Tinder, a Tree

Looking for your soulmate? Write a letter to the "Bridegroom's Oak" in Germany.

Video

The Health Benefits of Going Outside

People spend too much time indoors. One solution: ecotherapy.

Video

Where High Tech Meets the 1950s

Why did Green Bank, West Virginia, ban wireless signals? For science.

Video

Yes, Quidditch Is Real

How J.K. Rowling's magical sport spread from Hogwarts to college campuses

Video

Would You Live in a Treehouse?

A treehouse can be an ideal office space, vacation rental, and way of reconnecting with your youth.

More in Video

Just In