x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 23 September 2017

Dubai's bustle and beauty captured in time-lapse look at city

Footage of emirate by British photographer Richard Bentley made using 20,000 still photographs.

Dubai 3.0, like the other works by Richard Bentley, looks at first glance as if it has been shot using a video camera.
Dubai 3.0, like the other works by Richard Bentley, looks at first glance as if it has been shot using a video camera.

A British photographer whose time-lapse films have attracted thousands of hits online has released a new work that aims to capture Dubai's restless, bustling nature.

Dubai 3.0, like the other works by Richard Bentley, looks at first glance as if it has been shot using a video camera. In fact, it is made up of 20,000 still photographs.

Mr Bentley left a gap of between three and eight seconds between each shot, and each second of the completed film consists of 25 of the photos run together. This has the effect of appearing to speed up time.

The time-lapse technique has been used for decades to demonstrate the development of a plant or flower to botany students. In the case of the night scenes that make up Dubai 3.0, car lights flash by constantly, creating a sense of relentless movement.

Dubai in colour timelapse from Richard Bentley on Vimeo.

In the opening scene, the Dubai Fountain can be seen flaring briefly at the foot of the Burj Khalifa before the view changes slightly as the same location is seen across the rippling surface of a swimming pool.

The viewpoint continues to change as different parts of the city - including the Dubai Marina, Business Bay and Atlantis, The Palm - are showcased.

Mr Bentley's fascination with Dubai's architecture is obvious throughout.

"Dubai is a photographer's paradise if you're into architecture," he said. "That's what really captured my imagination."

"The lighting in Dubai is incredible at night. In daytime it doesn't capture the imagination quite so much but, after dark, Dubai comes to life.

"Location is everything, so without the fantastic skyline of Dubai it would be impossible."

Mr Bentley lives in the UK but travels regularly to Dubai on business. He shot the stills for the new six-minute film, hosted on vimeo.com, during his most recent trip in May.

The visuals are accompanied by a haunting soundtrack, penned specifically for the montage by the composer Athar Saeed.

"What I'm trying to convey with the time-lapse is to represent the city in the best possible artistic way that I can and bring it to the internet. Dubai is a very fast, very bustling, 24-hour city," Mr Bentley said.

Dubai 3.0, as the name suggests, is the third part of a trilogy. Its predecessor, Dubai 2.0, has been screened at film festivals in Hollywood, Edinburgh, Philadelphia and London.

Mr Bentley feels he has exhausted the city's visual potential for the time being, although he might be tempted to revisit the emirate once new buildings are completed.

"I'd like to wait until some more great buildings spring up and the Dubai Pearl gets finished," he said.