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Making the world's first ever tilt-shift miniature timelapse video and book of an aquarium.

***UPDATE 1 - See some inspirational tilt-shift timelapse footage in the updates to see just how special these type of videos can be.***

The ToyQuarium project will make the world's first miniature tilt-shift timelapse (all explained below) of an aquarium. The project's main goal is to produce a unique video and book showing a major aquarium through a perspective it has never been photographed in before, meant to inspire people's wonder of this underwater world.

Aquariums enhance people's understanding and appreciation for wildlife and the conservation of the places these animals live. I've always cherished my own visits to the aquarium and feel a stronger connection to nature after I leave. Having spent a whole summer doing dolphin research and photography at an aquarium, I have gotten to see the hard work that goes into all the research, conservation, and educational efforts that happen with the staff behind the scenes. Aquariums are not only fun for the people attending, but integral parts of the community and area they exist in. This video is a chance to feature the aquarium community and inspire people to appreciate their own local one.

This is not my first timelapse of an aquarium, as I produced one last summer for the Florida Aquarium in Tampa. It proves that timelapse photography can produce a visually effective video in this type of setting:

The ToyQuarium Project is a chance to take this photography to another level and perspective while still featuring a place that people love to see: the Aquarium.

This project is made with a combination of two different techniques - tilt-shift miniaturization and timelapse photography.

Tilt shift miniaturization is achieved by using tilt-shift lenses. These are specialty lenses for DSLRs that are generally usually used to minimize distortions (for such uses as architectural photography to get rid of converging lines). They also have the ability to create a miniaturizing look by selective focus on a single plane. This is the desired effect we want to bring the aquarium and it's inhabitants down to toy size.Here are a few examples of photos taken with this technique:

Pretty neat, huh?

Now timelapse photography is taking hundreds to thousands of photos to later be made into a video to show how something moves in time. The most basic way to make one is to take 24 photos (24 frames per second is in general the film standard) and compress them into 1 second of video. There are hundreds of examples of different timelapse videos you can find online today covering various topics (night skies, cities, and weather are most popular). Timelapses shot with DSLRs are of very high quality because each photo (which is a frame in video) is much higher quality than even HD resolution (it is closer to 4K resolution). However, this great quality comes at the price of a very large file size and greater wear and tear on a camera.Here is an example of 24 separate photos used to make video:

These photos...
These photos...
...make this video!
...make this video!

The project will start in early to mid-September. Shooting will take 1 week and then another 2-3 months to edit the video and produce all the rewards for donors. A blog will be kept and updated with everything going on in the project on the ToyQuarium website.

Currently I am in talks with several aquariums who have interest in being featured if this project is funded (most aquariums are non-profit and have no budget for any sort of productions). However, I am still in the process of contacting as many aquariums as I can. Do you know of a great aquarium for this project? Go ahead and send them the link to this Kickstarter and have them contact me!

Besides contributing to a great project, there are great rewards. We have a few options of different print sizes to offer, with all of them being professionally printed and mounted (choices will be available AFTER the project is shot with at least 15 choices). 

The book will have all of the best pictures from the project as well as a little bit more about the making of the piece. Each one will also be signed and numbered.

The final thing we have for high donors is your very own ToyQuarium pendant, featuring a whale shark and sea turtle. The piece is a handmade, high quality sterling silver pendant about the size of a quarter:

I'm not sure, but if you have any questions, suggestions or anything else, feel free to contact me and I'll get back to you ASAP! Contact form available on the ToyQuarium contact sheet.

FAQ

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    11 backers

    Minnow Package - I like the idea and want to help! - A big thank you and email updates of project progress, as well as your name in the book and video as a supporter.

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    10 backers

    Angel Fish Package - Cool Idea, I'd like a little keepsake! - A thank you postcard made from a random photo taken for the video as well as your name in the book and video as a supporter. [+$2 international]

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    5 backers

    Seahorse Package - Gimme something from the aquarium! - An aquarium pressed penny charm, a postcard made from a random photo taken for the video, and your name in the book and video as a supporter. [+$5 international]

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    1 backer

    Jellyfish Package - I want a nice big print! - A 6x8" mounted print of your choice [choices available after project is shot], aquarium pressed penny charm, postcard made from a random photo taken for the video, and your name in the book and video as a supporter. [+$7 international]

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    3 backers

    Lionfish Package - I want a bunch of stuff! - A digital copy of ToyQuarium | The Book, an 8x12" mounted print of your choice [choices available after project is shot], aquarium pressed penny charm, postcard made from a random photo taken for the video, and your name in the book and video as a supporter. [+$7 international]

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    2 backers

    Moray Eel Package - I want a longer list of things! - A digital and physical 10x8" copy of ToyQuarium | The Book, an 8x12" mounted print of your choice [choices available after project is shot], aquarium pressed penny charm, postcard made from a random photo taken for the video, and your name in the book and video as a supporter. [+$10 international]

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    Grouper Package - Hungry for prints! - (3) 8x12" mounted prints of your choice [choices available after project is shot], a digital and physical 10x8" copy of ToyQuarium | The Book, aquarium pressed penny charm, postcard made from a random photo taken for the video, and your name in the book and video as a supporter. [+$10 international]

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    Beluga Whale Package - sterling silver ToyQuarium Jewelry pendant, (3) 10x14" mounted prints of your choice [choices available after project is shot], a digital and physical 10x8" copy of ToyQuarium | The Book, aquarium pressed penny charm, postcard made from a random photo taken for the video, and your name in the book and video as a supporter. [+$15 international]

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    Dolphin Package - Show me the fishies! - A personalized thank you video shot on location, (3) 14x18" mounted prints of your choice, a digital and 2 physical 13x11" copies of ToyQuarium | The Book, sterling silver ToyQuarium Jewelry pendant, aquarium pressed penny charm, postcard made from a random photo taken for the video, and your name in the book and video as a supporter. [+$15 international]

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    1 backer

    Whale Shark Package - I'M COMPLETELY AND HOPELESSLY OBSESSED WITH AQUARIUMS! - (4) 16x24" professional canvas mounted prints, a personalized thank you video shot on location, sterling silver ToyQuarium Jewelry pendant, a digital and 2 physical 13x11" copies of ToyQuarium | The Book, aquarium pressed penny charm, postcard made from a random photo taken for the video, and your name in the book and video as a supporter. [+$40 international]

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    0 backers Limited (2 left of 2)

    TEACH ME! - Join me for a day of making the project! I'll show you how I do it and if you have your own gear we can set you up to do a shoot a few scenes as well (if you have a Nikon I have some sweet lenses for you to play with). You have to be flexible with this one because we don't know where in America we will be or exactly when, but you'll have at least 3 weeks notice to get ready for this adventure. Travel expenses/living arrangements are at your discretion, but I'll cover your entry into the aquarium as well as a nice dinner after our day of shooting. I don't really expect anyone to take this offer, but you never know. You also get all the goodies of the next lowest reward.

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