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Mesmerizing Time Lapse of a Stain Glass Window

Mesmerizing Time Lapse of a Stain Glass Window

Watch the beauty of sunlight moving through a stained glass window at the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C. in this mesmerizing time lapse video.


The time lapse photography was done by Colin Winterbottom, and the music was composed for the video by Danyal Dhondy.

In the beginning of the time lapse, the cathedral starts off dark with just the sound of basses playing. Then, more string instruments are added to the music as light begins to stream in through the stained glass windows.

It’s so beautiful to see the colors rippling around the cathedral. The way the light moves, it makes it look like a watercolor painting is dancing across the walls of the building! The shots in the time lapse video show the National Cathedral from different angles, letting the viewer take in all the beautiful architecture the place has to offer.

When talking about his time lapse photography, Colin Winterbottom explains how this project came about while the National Cathedral was undergoing renovations.

“I am primarily a black and white architectural still photographer, but while documenting post-earthquake repairs at the Washington National Cathedral, I was impressed by the drama of the vibrant colors the windows "painted" on stone and scaffold,” Winterbottom shares.

He also goes on to talk about how he used the scaffolding during the repairs to capture unique perspectives of the cathedral. “With just weeks before a related exhibition was to open, I began mounting cameras to scaffold to take advantage of rare vantage points,” explains Winterbottom. “The opening and closing view, for example -- with Rowan LeCompte's remarkable west rose window at eye-level and centered straight ahead within the nave -- cannot be recreated now that scaffold is down.”

The photographer also shares how music was added later to enhance the mesmerizing time lapse video. “The video was left silent and had remained so for several years until composer Danyal Dhondy recently offered to write an original score for it,” says Winterbottom. “It fits so well and complements the rhythms of the original edit so perfectly.”

May you see the beauty and wonder captured in this video, and let it remind you that God’s beauty can be seen all around us!