Rob Whitworth’s time-lapses are always a cut above. His unique tracking and morphing shots draw you into a city’s routine and accurately sketch its character. His panning and zooming give the sensation of flying around a city and dropping in on its denizens for a look around at ground level before taking to the air again.
He’s applied his time-lapse talent to other Asian cities before, notably Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and Hoi An, Vietnam, but this is his first video from China. Shanghai makes for a particularly apropos canvas. Its rapid development in the past few decades has draped a curtain of skyscrapers and high-rise apartment towers on a frame of traditional longtang alleys and lanes.
A cursory look at Shanghai would show the snarled motorways and brightly lit commercial towers of Pudong. However, Whitworth takes care to contrast the city’s frenetic development with its more human character: a flower vendor navigating traffic, her cart piled high with bouquets and potted plants; Shanghainese preparing and munching on the city’s famous dumplings; and even a brief flyby of the city’s fledgling Moganshan art district.