DUDLEY WILLIAMS | Making the Apple iPhone 6 World Gallery. Time Lapse - Glen Etive

Making the Apple iPhone 6 World Gallery. Time Lapse - Glen Etive

August 16, 2015  •  2 Comments

How I made a time lapse with my Apple iPhone 6 and got published in the World Gallery! 

Buachaille Etive MòrThe Great Herdsman of Etive stands sentinel at the head of Glen Etive, near Glen Coe, in the Scottish highlands.


In early January 2015 I had an experience that I'll never forget. Finishing work in Edinburgh on a Friday evening, I packed my camper van and made my way west, through the Trossachs and towards the highlands. I wasn't sure where I was going and decided to just play it by ear as there were reports of deep snow and blocked roads. I just wanted to get somewhere remote, wild and camp for the night.


After nearly three hours driving I found myself approaching a favourite haunt; Glen Etive. Still ten miles away I watched as the snow began to fall, steady and thick, my wipers barely clearing the screen even at 40mph. As I wound my way up onto Rannoch Moor the snow got heavier and I wondered if I had made a mistake in coming this far. The A82 is an important road in Scotland as it, effectively, connects Glasgow to Inverness and all that lies between along the west of the country. This means that every effort is made to keep the route open to traffic and as soon as I crested the Moor I could see the flashing orange lights of the gritter lorries. The snow ploughs had piled the white stuff up four feet high on either side of the road and they were still battling the falling snow. If it fell any harder they surely would have lost the battle. 

I thanked my lucky stars as I pulled off the highway onto the road that runs down Glen Etive. It was snow covered but the snow was fresh and dry and there was plenty of traction for my van despite it being two wheel drive. I pulled into my favourite spot and just let the van come to a rest in a few feet of snow, no need for a handbrake. I couldn't see another vehicle, the air was full of swirling snow, I was warm and very content. As I made my way to bed I wanted to stay up and watch the snow in the moonlight but I was shattered. I set an early alarm and went to sleep to the sound of snow being whipped against my van by the wind.

Waking just before first light I made a brew and sat in the driver’s seat listening to the radio and watching the light come up. I kept telling myself to go and photograph the much-photographed scene not far from where I was, with a waterfall and Beauchallie Etive Mor in the background. A mixture of contentment, tiredness and stubbornness stopped me so I just stayed where I was and watched the light change. 

Morning at Glen Etive, Scotland

I noticed that the sky was clearing to a pale blue, the clouds were low and very slowly swirling around the iconic mountain of Beauchallie Etive Mor . I wondered if it might be a good time to try out a first time lapse on my iPhone 6. I set up my tripod and attached the iPhone via an adaptor, set the iPhone to Airplane mode (you don't want to have your sequence stopped by an incoming call or message!), composed the scene, locked my focus and exposure of choice and started the time lapse recording. I went for a wander, made a cup of tea, listened to the radio and let half an hour slip by before stopping the recording and seeing what I'd recorded. 

Glen Etive Time LapseBuachaille Etive Mòr (Scots Gaelic meaning the great herdsman of Etive) is an iconic mountain in Scotland. Standing at the top of Glen Etive, not far from Glen Coe, I was delighted to make this time lapse on my new iPhone 6 and have it included in Apple's World Gallery at http://apple.co/dm_dudleyw. Shot over about thirty minutes while I had a cup of tea and took in the scenery.

I was stunned. Not just by the quality of the footage but by the mesmerising dance of the clouds around the mountain. It was so easy to do, the hard part was obviously getting there. The iPhone 6 can produce magic if the light is good and I was so elated I decided to try the same scene with my Nikon D800 in time lapse mode. The detail captured by such a beast means that I can clearly see small herds of deer moving around the base of the mountain in search of food. 
I shared my iPhone footage on Facebook but the quality didn't look at all impressive so I uploaded it to Vimeo. A week later I received an email from a media company in LA asking if they could use the footage as part of a campaign. Of course I said yes, the client was Apple themselves and the footage was posted to the iPhone 6 World Gallery here.

I'm pretty chuffed to be on Apple's global website, even if they call me Dudley W. But the memory of that trip will outlast any ego massage I might have had. There's nothing quite like being alone in a wilderness to fill up your senses. 


Equipment used:
Apple iPhone 6 in Airplane mode
Camera App (included with iPhone) in Time Lapse mode
Shoulderpod S1 tripod adaptor
LIFEPROOF frē waterproof case for iPhone 6
Gitzo tripod
Arberlour Whisky
Yorkshire Tea teabags
Rab sleeping bag - Andes 1000
Pink Floyd
BBC Radio 2 & 4



@Ronald many thanks for taking time to write. You must have seen some sights over the years if you have been frequenting that area. I love Glen Etive and always sleep the night there on my way north. If i drive from Brighton I try to make it to there in one go. It's a slog but the thought of sunrise in that Glen spurs me onwards and upwards. When I arrive the feeling is of exhausted elation. I've not been to St Kilda yet but I'm sure I will one day. I hope you have an amazing experience and a great 70th birthday. The Yorkshire tea is sustaining isn't it! Thanks again and best wishes :)
Ronald Stokes(non-registered)
Absolutely fantastic I can relate to everything you feel and do, I live in Dunoon and get up often at 4.a.m. to run up to Glencoe before first light, last year in Feb. I arrived at the Blackrock Cottage and felt the cold it was -8 degrees!!, with about a foot of snow on land it was the most exciting day ever blue skys to boot, I designed and carved gravestones for 44 years and work e d up in this area in all weathers, saw your Harris images today we are booked next for a week in June for my 70 th and booked for St. Kilda, to finish the most important thing was our love of Yorkshire Tea I leave the bag in !! Take care and keep doing what your doing maybe bump into you one day
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