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16 December 2015

Chapters 7 & 8 - The week that changed my life in Northern Thailand

MTD#7 expected & unexpected rendezvous - the day I met the mother of my children
Moving Timelapse Diary #7 takes me out of Chiang Mai on a new adventure to Pai.  
On the bus ride I meet Sabrina and the course of my life is changed forever.  
In Pai I say hello to my friend old Dominika who introduces me to the wonderful way of life there.
The next day I head off into the mountains to find a giant white Buddha 
but instead I find so much more...

MTD#8 Pai & conquering my fear of driving scooters in Thailand
Moving Timelapse Diary #8 is set in and around the tranquil region of Pai.
This week I confront my fear of driving scooters
and finally get to grips with this essential Asian mode of transport.
We make the most of our new wheels and drive to Pangbok waterfalls,
one of the most stunning & energetic places I have ever had the pleasure of experiencing.

26 November 2015

Chapters 5 & 6 - Chiang Mai & the herbal supplement adventures

Chapter 5 introduces us to the Warm With Love House and to the most beautiful city I have ever lived in, Chiang Mai.  This one was much more complicated to edit than previous episodes due to the huge amount of photographs I had to choose from to create the time-lapse sequence in the middle of the film.  I was in Thailand to work for Heston's herbal supplement company and my first job was to create logos for the eight products. Using ink in water, incense smoke, fire poi & sparklers, we had a bunch of fun playing with ideas.

This little film is a clip from MTD#5, the time-lapse sequence I mentioned.

After the logos were complete we started shooting the product description films, which took me to many beautiful farms around the country.

Chapter 6 continues my exploration of Chiang Mai & takes a look at some of the other projects I was working on that month.  From new born kittens to crazy tuk tuk rides to the kind of places you wouldn't take your mother to...  then to my After Effects computer wizardry, a crazy time-lapse countdown sequence (using cress, ice & dancing capsules) and finally a little respect for those who try in their own way to improve the lives of other people.

4 November 2015

Chapter 4 Barcelona to Gandesa - the lesson of the almond harvesting house

Chapter 4 of Moving Timelapse Diary takes us from Barcelona to Gandesa where we continue our quest for awesome time-lapse & things worth getting excited about.  And my dream of becoming an almond farmer takes an unexpected turn for the worse.

I also focus on explaining the Law of Attraction in this episode.  Something I feel to be at the very core of my new & exciting life :)

It should be noted that I did not shoot all the time-lapse & hyper-lapse myself.  Many of the shots in this film were created by Dominika Martincova.  And one of the shots was created by Francisco Queral Miro (Franc), who received a few time-lapse lessons from me while we were living in his house.

26 October 2015

Moving Timelapse Dairy - Chapters 2 & 3

After the success of Chapter 1, it has been my great pleasure to edit on through all the old footage and continue creating films.  I have been advised by various people (including my Youtube agent) that 10 minute episodes are more suitable for the short attention spans of the general public.  I have accepted my position now and created the 10 minute format as you will see in the films below.  

However, it is curious to me that a large percentage of the world are able to sit through an hour of Game of Thrones, indulging in mindless killing and nudity, but struggle with 20 minutes of optimism & creativity.  Whatever does this say about us humans? 

I am going to do a one hour special for the chapter when I stumble upon a zombie nudist colony with my machine gun, and make a time-lapse film of the massacre  :)

Chapters 2 & 3 take us from the Spanish wilderness to Pamplona and finally on to Barcelona, where we settle for a month and shoot a whole bunch of nudity free time-lapse. Though I do take my top off!

19 October 2015

The Rise of Moving Timelapse

It has been a fantastic first week for Chapter 1 of the Moving Timelapse Diary series. Two years ago I posted a longer edit of the same diary footage and when I deleted the video from Youtube last week Chapter 1 had received a grand total of 56 views. That's about 2 people per month.

So, I told myself that if over 100 people watched the new edit of Chapter 1 in the first week, I would continue re-editing & uploading the films.

And today, one week after posting the new edit, I am stunned to see that almost 2000 people have watched it across the various platforms.

It has had news coverage in the States, from Right This Minute in Phoenix, Arizona who turned it into a great advert for us.  See the news piece here...

It has had it's own page created on a website of growing popularity, What We See, run by an old friend of mine.  

 the new page here

I had a featured article with Honest Mum (one of the leading parenting and lifestyle bloggers) who runs a monthly post about us dads called Who’s the Daddy.  My article was entitled: Joy First, Money Later – A Modern Education By Filmmaker Samuel Stonehill.  Honest Mum tells me it has had a 'crazy amount of views', so that sounds good.  You can read it here.

The Free Thought Project featured my Moving Timelapse Mantra film on their facebook page which was very lovely of them.  This week alone I can see that it has been viewed by over 4,000 people there.  And I should probably mention that Right This Minute also featured a piece on the film too.  I love their catchy title you can see here below!  

Watch the news piece here.

All in all, things are looking pretty positive for Moving Timelapse right now.  The subscribers are rolling in across the board and every day there are a growing number of comments like this one... 

Found your video on LiveLeak and knew I had to come subscribe to your youtube channel. I've been contemplating quitting my job and taking a journey similar to yours ever since I went on a 7 day hiking trip through Colorado. Seeing you making it possible for yourself inspires me to continue preparing for a long journey in the not so distant future.

So I am super pleased that my work is having the desired effect!  It is true that the quality of my audience should be more important than the quantity, but that being said if I am going to make a living by filming my life and putting it on the internet (which is firmly what I intend!) then the numbers are important.  The more the better!  My Youtube 'agent' has observed the numbers growing since I signed with them two months ago and today we are having a meeting to discuss the ongoing expansion on Moving Timelapse.

I know I have said this a few times now but I feel like it's important...  Thank you to all the wonderful people who have helped me along the way! 

10 October 2015

Moving Timelapse Diary - Chapter 1, every camino has a beginning

I have been shooting a video diary with my Gopro since the day I said goodbye to my London life and set out on a barefoot journey of international discovery and time-lapse inspired adventures.

Chapter 1 tells the story of how it all began.  From my film making days in London to a life on the road.  Beginning with the Camino de Santiago, a pilgrimage route across northern Spain, which I walked with my friend & fellow time-lapse enthusiast Dominika Martincova. 

Thank you to all the wonderful people who helped me on this journey.

29 September 2015

The Blood Moon - What does it mean?

We arrived back in Vinca just in the nick of time to catch the rare conjunction of a super moon with a blood moon.  It is known as a super moon because it is at it's closest point (perigree) to the earth in its elliptical orbit, so it appears up to 14% bigger & brighter in the sky.  

It is a blood moon because the earth passes for a few hours between the moon and the sun, creating a total lunar eclipse and the infamous red colour due to the diffraction of sunlight through the earth's atmosphere.

September 28th marked the fourth and final eclipse in a series of four total lunar eclipses called the lunar tetrad.  This particular tetrad had a solar eclipse in the middle and is causing a bit of a stir with some religious folk because each of the five eclipses falls on a Jewish festival.  The last time this happened was in 1948, which was the date of the Palestine war, known in Hebrew as The War of Independence or the War of Liberation.  Others are quoting the bible in their summary of this event, particularly the book of Acts 2:20 in which it says 'The sun will be turned into darkness and the moon into blood, before the great and glorious day of the Lord shall come.' 

So, will this tetrad bring with it another historical event?  Only time will tell.

What we do know for sure is that total eclipses of super moons are very rare. According to NASA, they have occurred only 8 times in the last 2000 years.  I say let us simply be grateful to have witnessed one!  And if like most people you had a job to go to on that cold Monday morning and didn't fancy standing in a damp field waiting for the clouds to clear, you can always watch the film I made instead, The Blood Moon.

Or you can wait till the next one in 2033 :)

5 August 2015

The Moving Timelapse Mantra

This is my Moving Timelapse Mantra, a collection of my best time-lapse work and my thoughts on the subject of creativity & the way I choose to live my life.  

This film was shot using a custom-built motion control system, Canon 5D MKII, Gopro & DJI Phantom quadcopter in UK, France, Spain, Italy, USA, Thailand, Zambia & South Africa.

If you have any suggestions for awesome time-lapse locations I would love to hear about them!

And if you have any questions regarding my words or anything else at all, it will be my pleasure to answer them for you.

Now get out there and follow your creativity :) 

26 July 2015

12 June 2015

14 October 2013

Levitation - A song from my past

In all the excitement of preparing for this life-time adventure I completely forgot that just prior to my departure from the UK I was offered the chance to record one of my many songs by a complete stranger in Swaffham Bulbeck!  Well, he was actually the local postman and I had seen him delivering letters, but we had never actually met.  That was until I plucked up the courage to do something I had never done before and sing at an open mic night in the only pub in this sleepy little village.  Thank you for the encouragement Dominika :)  So, the postman (whose guitar I had borrowed) heard my song and immediately insisted that I come and record it in his local studio.  How could I refuse such a wonderful flow of energy?

The song itself is an old one, written around 2006 for a porn star girlfriend I loved very much.  Our relationship however provided much in the way of drama and left me rather broken. Who would have known it?

The reference to levitation takes me back to my early days of magic:

'Levitation is easier to crack than love it seems'

From an early age I was able to master the complexities of magic tricks, yet the subject of love remained a complete mystery to me, despite having studied it at length!  The immediacy and intensity of my love for the women in my life at that time was rarely reciprocated.

Since then I have come to understand that my relationships with women will rarely fit into a box that can be labelled as traditional.  But that's okay!

And the most liberating kind of love is the kind which expects nothing in return.

10 October 2013


I have endured over the years much criticism for indulging a side of my character I am unwilling to relinquish.  What some might call faith in the human spirit, others would frowningly dismiss as naivety.  Many people owe me money as a consequence of my giving nature but I am able to let this pass in the knowledge that money is not the only means of returning favour, and the soul lives forever, so there is plenty of time for the karmic balance to be restored.

If one is resigned to spend their days in what I now refer to as a human dwelling box, having a comfortable one is essential.  Back in the day it was important in my mind to have a spare room within the dwelling box, primarily used for junk storage, growing marijuana and guests.

I recount this side of my character because in 1997 I befriended a Spanish man at University and let him stay in my spare room for the good part of half a year.  It was at the time a contentious issue, yet one I would not be budged on.  There was much less junk in my life back then and I had not yet been introduced to the indoor growing club, so the room was unused and it was logical to let Francisco stay there.

He returned to his home country after acquiring his film degree and the two of us have barely spoken since.  Two weeks ago I was sitting in a field with some new friends discussing the wonders of this part of Spain.  I don't remember the context exactly, but Barcelona came up and Francisco popped into my head.  All I had to do was call him and ask if he knew where we could stay.  Not only does he have access to an empty dwelling box in Barcelona for us to relax in at will indefinitely, but it is not more than a few steps from the alluring Park Guell, one of the many masterpieces of Gaudi, an architect whose organic designs are synonymous with this city.  The ongoing building work of his impossibly complex Cathedral, the Sagrada Familia stands as a lasting testament to his genius.

Our arrival here it turns out is rather timely too, for the park is only a few weeks away from becoming a source of income for the struggling Spanish economy.  Gaudi had intended for this place to be free to all, yet in these modern times of systematic failure, the morals of our predecessors fall quickly by the wayside.  It is hard to ignore the spray-painted signs in all the roads surrounding the park, demanding justice.  Yet they are washed away as quickly as they arrive and the voice of the people remains unheard.

Rather conveniently, Franc works now as a tour guide for small international groups and has a fantastic knowledge of the place.  Needless to say, we have put this to good use and found some beautiful spots in which to shoot time-lapse.  And I should add, Franc is now hooked on our unusual hobby and has been coming with us to shoot his own time-lapses.  It is a wonderful road to take and I am happy to teach anyone willing to stand by my side and listen.  On that note, Dominika and I are formulating plans for a moving time-lapse school; something I think that will bring us much joy.  How it will happen I do not know, but the first step to manifesting any new reality is always desire.  And desire has been established.

Having a dwelling box to call my own again has certainly had its advantages.  Aside from the now consistent supply of re-charged batteries, a desk from which to work and the the other obvious joys of dwelling box life, my love of green juices, fruit smoothies and fancy salads has been able to flourish once more.  The kitchen thankfully came with a blender.  Yet the strange and slightly scary white-faced porcelain clown dolls that watch me from the shelves won't let me forget the irrefutable paradox of dwelling box life.  This static comfort breeds an invisible kind of laziness and a powerful addictive sense of nostalgia represented by items from one's past, items that only multiply in number, in the end giving rise to the need always for the same thing: a larger dwelling box.  Or as it seems is the way in Spain: a second dwelling box in the country.

As to Barcelona itself, I am less comfortable here than in the petite confines of Pamplona, but the undeniable originality of the place makes it very hard to stay indoors watching blue render lines on a computer screen.  Any city with it's own sandy beach and a sunrise that comes from across the sea is likely to be special, but to have a public park on top of a hill overlooking it all is the real icing on the cake.  And unlike so many mature cities, its roads are designed around a simple straight line system, making it much easier for people like myself to find their way around.  In addition to this, the Metro system seems efficient, uncrowded and inexpensive.  London Underground doesn't even come close in comparison.

The gothic quarter is more complex in its design; a maze of antique graffiti-laden alleyways, leading you always to another square filled with a bubbling culture cauldron of drinkers and performers, and the type of buildings that demand more than a passing glance.  The modernity of the new business quarter speaks of a country once wealthy beyond imagination, and it speaks too of tireless architects living in the shadow of a great man, each one clambering to outshine him.

The idea of creating a time-lapse film that accurately represents Barcelona is uncomfortably overwhelming.  And it is a task I am not ready to take on.  My challenge, both in life and in my films, is to keep on evolving.  With every desire fulfilled comes a new feeling of contrast and a new perspective of the world from which the next desire is born.   I made a conscientious decision to be free from the constraints of having my own dwelling box, for to create effortless time-lapse fuelled by love, I realised that I needed to keep moving.  I am excited beyond measure upon discovering a new place and my instinct is always to capture it immediately, for once I have seen a place twice, the magic seems, well… less magical.  Yet nothing has changed at all except that I have become more excited by somewhere else.  My experience of that which I have already seen stagnates very quickly and to time-lapse a place is to see it in a way that is all-encompassing.  90% of my time when shooting is spent in silent appreciation of the visual spectacle before me.  And when the time-lapse is finally processed I feel like I am glimpsing at the essence of the place.  Something that few of us care to look for.  Though if I had been born here, I would no doubt have walked past every one of my time-lapse sites with barely the blink of an eye.

Chapter 1 gave birth to many potential paths of evolution for this time-lapse odyssey, but most notably it forced me to evaluate the limiting features of the meter-long tracking system.  Like me, the camera was asking for freedom from its constraints.  And it has been a pleasure to oblige.  Hyper-lapse is the phrase which has been chosen to coin the new system of capturing greater distances in time-lapse.  It requires a steady hand and an unfaltering focus upon the little monitor at the back of your camera.  It requires much patience to shoot and even more to painstakingly process and stabilise the HDR images.  Our first tests were shaky, but there has been little in the way of rest over the last two weeks and the system has evolved quickly.

In answer to those of you who are asking what has happened to our Camino, I proclaim that we are still on it.  We met many pilgrims who have been walking the route for over thirty years, returning to it for only a few weeks each year.  Always heading towards the same place.  And a wonderful place I am sure it is.  But why Santiago?  I believe it can be any place you choose and you can change your mind as often as you like. The road to Santiago served as a good starting place for me.  A means of pulling me away from England with a clear focus of intent.  Now that I am doing what I love, the choice of roads before me has become infinite.  And there is no wrong direction. 

Two weeks ago we posted Chapter 1 on the internet and are now enjoying the little ripples from this wave of joy.  Aside from the many lovely compliments there has been good constructive criticism and more than this we have been offered representation from a small but fair UK based time-lapse company who make me feel a whole lot better about having turned down the less than desirable contract offer from Getty Images.  So the means to be paid for doing what I love is effortlessly manifested.  And it happened by doing only that which makes me feel good. The Law of Attraction in motion.

Whilst I am certain that saying goodbye to the dwelling box lifestyle was the right choice for me, I remain consistently grateful that the majority of people take the more static approach to life.

Thank you all for opening your doors to me.