Enrique Pacheco is a professional cinematographer from Spain. He has been working in video production for more than 10 years, but Enrique’s career changed when he moved to Iceland. There he started to specialize on time-lapse and DSLR cameras, exploring the raw landscape of Iceland and shooting some of nature’s most volatile subjects, such as active volcanoes, glaciers, waterfalls, and the traditional culture of Iceland.
Some of his latest short films have been very successful in Vimeo. “Winter in Hell”, “Raw Lightscapes” and “Vatn” are all long-term self-productions made with great effort and passion. Since 2008 he has been conducting many different workshops in DSLR and time-lapse photography both in Iceland and Spain. A short while ago he started to work for Getty Images. That has proven to be the best opportunity to keep shooting what he likes and making it profitable at the same time. Sounds like every filmmaker´s dream!
- Could you describe in details the process of creating "Made on Earth"?
During the last two years I`ve been shooting time-lapse almost every day in many different countries, discovering places, capturing unique landscapes and cityscapes which with make a video with the best quality possible. In every tour I tried to go further, hike higher, get better light and find a better spot. The excellency on the results was my first goal. In October, after a tour along the National Parks of the Southwest of USA, I felt that I have enough footage to create this piece, "Made on Earth". It was 2 years of keeping the best shots and 3 weeks to edit them. When finally it saw the light, I felt relieved, it was like giving birth.
- What means this amazing technique, called timelapse, for you?
I think I was born to be a photographer. I’ve always had a passion for capturing images, but it was not until I was 18 when my father gave me his Nikon F2 Photomic and ever since I’ve been devoted to photography. At the beginning documentary photography attracted me most and that led me first to study directing of documentaries and later cinematography. So here I am now – with one foot in the photography and the other in the filmmaking. Time lapse is involving both of these worlds and for that reason it has become especially captivating for me.
- If you would have to give an advice to someone that is starting to learn this technique, what would you recommend?
First I would recommend is to think in your shot as a photograph, taking care of the composition, light, rhythm, etc. And just after that thinking on the interval and the movement of the scene. Sometimes amateurs get really excited with the movement of both scene and camera and forget the basics.
After this, I will give three tips that beginners can find useful.
Plan as much as you can. As the Chinese proverb says, if I had ten hours to chop down a tree, I would use seven in sharpening the ax. If we are going to make a “time-lapse” of a sunset, it makes no sense to do 30 miles by car loaded with our gear to get to the place chosen only two minutes before sunset.
A beginner will need a considerable amount of trial-and-error before can create a great time-lapse. Do not give up.
Don´t forget anything. When you go to do a “time-lapse”, you can spend several hours standing on a rock in the middle of nowhere, so you have to be well prepared, is worth reminding you that you should take with you enough of water and food. If it’s winter, spare socks, a warm coat, gloves … And if it’s summer, more water, a hat and sunscreen. A fully charged cell phone and something to read is a must. Oh and do not forget the camera and tripod.
Knowing how long your “time-lapse” takes. This is the second major variable that we have to calculate. In many cases we know it, as in a football game or a sunset. We’ll set an interval and clip duration that gives us an adequate number of frames. On the contrary, if we are shooting a scene without beginning or an end, like a flowing of a river, the exposure and interval will determine the length of the shot.
- Can you name some great photographers that inspires you and why?
As a photographer I always admired Ansel Adams, not just for his technique, but for his work for the environment and conservation of National Parks like Yosemite. As a filmmaker, of course Ron Fricke is the guy I consider my biggest inspiration as a filmmaker, his films Baraka and the most recent Samsara are truly game changers. Talking about recent and pure time lapsers, I think Dustin Farrell is the guy to follow right now, both his technique and photographic eye are really amazing. I had the chance of spending a few days shooting with him in Iceland and I was blown away with his passion and motivation. I learned a lot during those days, not just about photography and time-lapse, but about the attitude in a shoot and towards the people around you. Beside I never had so much fun shooting with another photographer, I think that´s also very important.