Le Flaneur: Time Lapse Video of Paris Without the People

Luke Shepard, a student at the American University of Paris, began working on Le Flaneur as part of a project for school, but it quickly took on a life of its own. He used a Nikon D90 DSLR camera to take over 2,000 photos of Paris at night, and then used Adobe After Effects and Premiere Pro to produce this impressive tour of a world that most of us rarely see – Paris without Parisians. In English, “flaneur” translates roughly as “stroller,” “loafer,”  or perhaps “aimless walker,”  and, in an interview with National Geographic Traveler, Shepard explained that he was  inspired to shoot these images in part by late-night pleasure rides on his bicycle.

(Note: Some viewers may prefer to watch with the volume off, as the chase scene-ready soundtrack detracts a bit from the eerie sense of a virtually deserted city.  For more time-lapse photography, check out these videos of Mecca, New York City, and the Milky Way.)

Sheerly Avni is a San Francisco-based arts and culture writer. Her work has appeared in Salon, LA Weekly, Mother Jones, and many other publications. You can follow her on twitter at @sheerly.


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  1. LooseCannon says . . . | March 23, 2011 / 11:12 pm

    Awesome look at Paris. In my opinion, that song (Intro by The xx) fit the movie perfectly.

  2. Philomath says . . . | March 23, 2011 / 11:31 pm

    Matt Logue did something very similar for Los Angeles a few years back. Check out Empty L.A. http://emptyla.com/

  3. Philomath says . . . | March 23, 2011 / 11:38 pm
  4. Sheerly says . . . | March 23, 2011 / 11:50 pm

    thanks Philomath for the link!

  5. Benjiwaa says . . . | March 24, 2011 / 9:47 pm

    Umm, there are people and cars in the video above so the title doesn’t really seem accurate. Still an awesome time lapse video though!

  6. Kirill says . . . | May 18, 2013 / 1:49 am

    Paris hyperlapse https://vimeo.com/66009998

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