Esteban's Journey

My name is Samuel Stonehill and I am a freelance time-lapse photographer/film-maker. I have spent many years developing skills to prepare myself for a life on the road.  My goal is to explore and photograph every last corner of this amazing  planet.

I had not accounted for meeting my soulmate on a bus in Thailand last year, only six months into my journey. When we learned Sabrina was pregnant we stopped traveling and moved to her home town of Perpignan in the south of France and our little boy was born a month ago. When Esteban is 3 months old we will continue on with our world adventure, this time as a family of three.

As a long-term time-lapse enthusiast I wanted to document the pregnancy in an original way. I have seen hundreds of pregnancy films in which the background is a wall in their home and it adds little or nothing to the narrative or visual aesthetic. 

Initially I took pictures of Sabrina's growing bump each day with a different wall superimposed behind her, but as the weeks went by finding new walls became difficult and visually speaking, the idea tired quickly.  

From there I decided to use the background to tell more of a story and when we received our first baby scan and the news that he was a boy, I felt that this information had to be somehow represented in the film.   

I chose to omit all colour from the backgrounds until we knew he was a boy and I started photographing pine cones on my living room floor to find an interesting way to reveal his sex.  

I also began photographing our ever-growing collection of baby clothes. I wanted to see them come alive and dance in jubilation to the music. This was so much fun to achieve with the flying socks & T-shirts.

The landscape backgrounds I used in the final section of the film were all captured here in the south of France using HDR photography (High Dynamic Range) which means that I am merging differently exposed images to create a more dynamic final picture. 

It took hundreds of hours working on my laptop through the night to remove Sabrina’s body from the background of each photo and replace it with my own background but I can honestly say that it did not feel like work at all, as I enjoyed every last moment of it.  

This project has grown into something much bigger now and I will update the film once a year for the next twenty years. I take daily pictures of our son and I take pictures of the things around us as we travel. We will be on the road for many years so this film will serve as a visual travel log that documents Esteban’s growth and adventures.



  1. Once you have selected the best photos, you might want to combine them into one and get as good "HDR result" as possible. To do this, there are lots of programs which can help

    1. Thanks for your message. But can this program batch the pictures? Which is essential for time-lapse sequences.