Colin Delehanty and Sheldon Neill / Courtesy: Project Yosemite
It pretty much went bonkers online, earning more than four million plays and 30,000 likes on Vimeo.
The video was a feat of physical exertion, technical precision and patience. The duo, who repeatedly met up from opposite sides of California, carried roughly 70 pounds of gear to the nearly 9,000-foot top of Half Dome, the distinctive flat peak that soars above Yosemite Valley. Once there, they managed to capture night stars in perfect focus as they swept across the sky as well as the first light breaking over distant peaks.
As someone who has dabbled in time lapse and hiking, let me tell you, none of that is easy. I followed along with Delehanty and Neill in the summer of 2012 for a feature story at my last job, getting a behind-the-scenes look at their next project, “Yosemite HD II” — which they finally released on Friday.
For the no-less-stunning sequel, they decided to trek deeper into the park and explore more of the High Sierra, revealing vantages that few day hikers will get to on their own. They covered more than 200 miles and captured images on at least 45 days, starting back in April 2012.
The pair also changed up their repertoire of camera gear for this video. They mostly shot with the Canon 5D Mark III, but also took advantage of the high frame rates (the number of images captured per second) of the pricey Sony NEX-FS700 and Red Epic to produce super-slow-motion video shots of tumbling waterfalls and falling snow.
Many of the time-lapse shots employed Dynamic Perception’s Stage One time-lapse dolly, a six-foot-long rail that moves the camera smoothly and in perfect time, adding movement to the visual sequences. (Check here for a full list of gear and locations.)
But it’s more fun to watch it than read about it, so check out “Yosemite HD II” below:
(Full disclosure: I hired Colin to help with an unrelated video project last year.)