Last month we covered a filmmaker who attached a camera to his car tires, blending street lamps and cars into surreal light tunnels. Designer Dirk Koy has taken that concept to a different level, refining wheel photography through a very scientific process to develop a stunning synchronization of wheel and camera. In a short video called “A Camera on a Car Wheel, The Time Tunnel,” Koy explores the psychedelic perspective of all the road’s wheels.
“I figured out that when I drive exactly 93 km/h [57 mph] the rotation of the wheel is synced to the cameras shutter speed,” Koy told The Creators Project. “The movie seems to stand still.” He’s not lying; the clip makes it look like his car is related to a certain DeLorean time machine.
The time-freezing phenomenon happens more than once throughout “Time Tunnel.” Most of the video is a trippy maelstrom of recognizable images like stoplights, other cars and — during the daytime footage — tiny, planet-like images of trees and shrubs. A few surreal moments, however, perfectly align the camera’s shutter, the road and Boris Blank‘s sweet background track, creating the brief illusion that reality is momentarily stuck.
Koy edited more than 16 hours of wheels-eye-view video down to a concise three minutes, meticulously aligning each shot with the rhythm of the music. The process is time-consuming and requires considerable attention to detail — but can be worthwhile when trailblazing the beginning of a new medium.
Turning “Time Tunnel” on its head, Koy also mashed up images of over 250 car wheels into a single, whirling, kaleidoscopic animation called “The Time Tunnel, Remix.” Rather than the ‘wheel looking out’ perspective, this short looks directly at the spinning discs within the car tires, warping each wheel’s design together to create trippy tunnels with an entirely different look and feel. The images also perfectly match the footage, and it’s just as easy to lose yourself in the remix as the original.
We hope the wheels in Koy’s head keep spinning as fast as the wheels on his car — perhaps the wheel shot will someday become as integral to style-heavy filmmaking as the dolly zoom.
Race over to Koy’s Vimeo page to see more of his work.
Images courtesy of artist.