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/.