An L.A. photographer pieces time-lapsed collages of urban landscapes into remarkable photos.  

For photographer Dan Marker-Moore, finding the right light can get complicated. His photos require near perfect sunlight, moonlight, clear skies, and an uninterrupted view of the city skyline. If an unexpected rain shower shows up, his days-long work is likely ruined. A less-than-spectacular sunset will force him to pack up his equipment as well.

But when the light—along with several other highly specific factors—is just right, Marker-Moore can capture the urban landscape in a truly remarkable way.

(Dan Marker-Moore)

Using a technique called "Time Slicing," the L.A.-based photographer manipulates a series of photos into one final image. Rather than settling for a single shot of the Hollywood sunset, for example, Marker-Moore might take 11 over over the course of an hour. Then, like a puzzle, he'll assemble the photos into one time-lapsed picture—and that captures the beautiful transition a city undergoes during dusk.

"When you are shooting a Time Slice, nothing complements the graduation to darkness more than illumination of lights from the city," Marker-Moore says. The project, which he began about a year and a half ago, emerged out of a desire to capture the progression of time in a still photo. Doing so, however, requires some serious patience and navigation. The moon's location changes each month, so Marker-Moore traverses the hills of L.A. trying to track down the best view. Moreover, "a lot of [the pictures] fall flat," he acknowledges, often leaving him with, "grey sunsets, foggy sunrises, or cloudy moonrises." The demands of the project, however, don't dampen the experience for him.

"Nothing is really frustrating about the process", he says. "Going to a remote location high above the city and taking a long break to watch the sunset while the camera takes a picture is great." Marker-Moore and his girlfriend sometimes will use the project to schedule a date night; they bring a picnic up to the L.A. hills and watch as the burning sky settles into a brightly lit cityscape. Now and then, Marker-Moore will get up and snap another photo. Not a bad way to work. (See more of his photos below)

Chicago over one hour, 18 minutes, and 39 photos. (Dan Marker-Moore)
Toronto over one hour, 53 minutes, and 40 photos. (Dan Marker-Moore)
Moonrise in Los Angeles. (Dan Marker-Moore)
New York over two hours, three minutes, and 38 photos. (Dan Marker-Moore)
Thirty minutes of sunrise in L.A. (Dan Marker-Moore)

All photos courtesy of Dan Marker-Moore. You can see more of his work here.

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. A photo of Andrew Field, the owner of Rockaway Taco, looking out from his store in the Rockaway Beach neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York.
    Life

    Tacos and Transit: Rate Your City

    From taco-rich San Diego to the tortilla wastelands of Boston, we asked you to grade U.S. cities on two critical metrics: Mexican food and public transportation.

  2. A photo of shoppers in the central textile market of downtown Jakarta.
    Design

    How Cities Design Themselves

    Urban planner Alain Bertaud’s new book, Order Without Design, argues that cities are really shaped by market forces, not visionaries.

  3. A photo of a man sitting on a bench in East Baltimore.
    Equity

    Why Is It Legal for Landlords to Refuse Section 8 Renters?

    San Jose and Baltimore are considering bills to prevent landlords from rejecting tenants based on whether they are receiving federal housing aid. Why is that necessary?

  4. The opulent anteroom to a ladies' restroom at the Ohio Theatre, a 1928 movie palace in Columbus, Ohio.
    Design

    The Glamorous, Sexist History of the Women’s Restroom Lounge

    Separate areas with sofas, vanities, and even writing tables used to put the “rest” in women’s restrooms. Why were these spaces built, and why did they vanish?

  5. Montreal skyline from top of Mount Royal on a fall afternoon
    Equity

    Reading Between The Lines of Montreal’s ‘Cheap’ Rents

    Compared to Toronto and Vancouver, Montreal’s real estate market looks enviable—but its rents are shaped by factors other cities can’t replicate.