"When I was in high school, I saw a time-lapse about the American Southwest and it inspired me to figure out how that guy did it," Studer told GrindTV. "It combines photography and video — and I developed [a] passion for both. Combined with my passion for the outdoors, I enjoyed how I could capture all these places through this new technique."
He called the amount of time he spent in the outdoors fulfilling his dream "irresponsible." "Knowing that I wanted to have a film of all these places kept me restless," he says.
<iframe src=”https://player.vimeo.com/video/135223867″ width=”620″ height=”420″ frameborder=”0″ webkitallowfullscreen mozallowfullscreen allowfullscreen></iframe> However, Studer feels the choice to hike at a moment's notice, camp with friends who kept him company, road trip for big miles on weekends and rarely make it back for college studies — eventually leaving school — was worth the "irresponsible" time he spent time lapsing around Mount Hood and the Columbia River Gorge.
Today, the Salem, Oregon, native is making a living as a professional commercial time-lapse photographer.
"I discovered the most beautiful places the further I went into the Canadian Rockies, especially near Jasper and Banff," says Studer of one 13-hour drive he made.Some of Studer's most memorable moments happened along Alberta's Icefields Parkway. "I spent a lot of time there, surrounded by mountains, just pulling off on the side of the road and climbing around," he says. But the most inspiring instants during the multi-year mission came at night.
"My favorite thing is to photograph the stars," he says. "I don't get much sleep. It's not coffee or energy drinks, it's just pure adrenaline."
The sheer time involved in slowly capturing the outdoor world through photographs via remote camera, slowly spliced together and edited ad nauseam, has taught Studer that restlessness is balanced by patience. He might shoot a sunset for 30 minutes in "that nice zone a little bit before and after the sun goes down," but recording a nighttime lapse could last for up to four hours.
"It has made me appreciate the outdoors in a different way. It has taught me a great deal of patience," Studer says. "But something I've also learned is that as much as I love to capture these things in cool way, it's important to take a break. I can still go camping with friends — and don’t bring the camera."
He says the purpose of the film was really to illustrate a belief he has that "good things happen when you go outside," he says. "For me, looking at the stars is the most personally connected I have felt to nature, and I hope that other people will see these images and want to go outside, away from the city, and look up."
Studer's next adventure? He says a month of time-lapsing on a Hawaiian island or Iceland keeps him restless.
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