There's something mesmerizing, almost magical about timelapses video. It's a bit like being granted privileged access to a world we're not usually allow to see, a VIP pass into the fourth dimension.
Photographer Esben Zøllner Olesen was one of the four photographers mandated for the visual coverage of Red Bull Ragnarok, the world's toughest snowkite race, and captured the incredible timelapse you can watch in the video above.
"Red Bull Photography approached me earlier this year with the idea of taking a different view of Red Bull Ragnarok," he says. "I had a specific assignment to shoot pictures that were unusual both in a technical and creative sense.
I was looking to bring movement into the frame as much as possible, combined with the beautiful landscape of the area.Esben Zøllner Olesen
For the Danish photographer, it was an assignment that fell right into his line of work. Wanting once more to go beyond traditional action sports photography, Olesen decided to shoot a timelapse, infrared photography and 360 VR photography.
The timelapse resulted in a truly fascinating clip, making the race look almost surreal. "I was looking to bring movement into the frame as much as possible, combined with the beautiful landscape of the area. I used a motorized slider to get some movement into the time lapse, to make it more exciting for the viewer."
An infrared view of Red Bull Ragnarok
When it came to stills, Olesen wasn't going settle for a regular DSLR, and pushed it even further with some infrared photography. "Infrared operates outside of the colours that we can see normally with our eyes," he says. "I needed to always think about how it would appear in the pictures. I tried to include a blue sky whenever I could, and I used wide-angle lenses to get close to my subjects where possible."
As difficult as it can be to shoot in such conditions, with the amount of time spent in the glacial environment, and despite the challenges of working with the cold wind biting any exposed piece of skin, when asked the question whether would he do it again, Olesen's answer couldn't be clearer: "Hell yes."
Want to see more? Check out the toughest snowkite race in the world in GIFs.