Dan and David Newcomb are passionate and prolific visual creators. The twin brothers were born in Winnipeg, Manitoba in the mid 1960s. In 1974 they moved to North Vancouver with their family and soon fell in love with all that British Columbia had to offer. In the early 80s while in high school they both discovered still photography. It was love at first click. Soon after still photography came film and video. An old Bolex 16mm movie camera was used for their first time lapse movies. It was modified with a crude timer and gears pulled out of a discarded photocopier. It wasn’t terribly reliable but it started them on a quest to produce quality time lapse movies.
In the late 80s and 90s David and Dan owned and were involved in a number of video production companies. They produced a video series called Safari West. It showcased many fishing lakes and hot springs found in southern BC. By the late 90s the two started moving in different directions with their creative lives. David began to focus on video while Dan concentrated on still photography.
In 2004 Dan purchased his first DSLR, the Nikon D70. With the advent of digital, Dan soon discovered the possibilities of creating time lapse movies from this still camera. He modified a Palm Pilot to send infrared signals to the camera at set intervals. Movies were possible but the reliability of the shutter firing wasn’t always dependable. It wasn’t until 2006 when he purchased a Nikon D200. This was a game changer as it had a built in intervolometer. This meant reliable intervals and smooth movies. A crude tilt and pan head was built but it proved to be unpredictable. Early experiments were done at this time with HDR time lapse movies. Dan went on to buy a Nikon D300 and a D700 which are still in use today.
In 2008 David bought a Nikon D300 with the main purpose of doing time lapse photography. He soon began working on his first tilt and pan head. It was reliable and dependable. Finally they had a reliable camera and a reliable platform. It took over 25 years but now the brothers could create the time lapse movies they had always hoped for. David went on to build a number of special camera platforms, a 15 foot portable boom, a dolly that can go both horizontal & vertical and a railing crawler for bridges. A pair of second generation tilt and pan heads have also been deployed.
In late 2008 the twins went on a two week trip to the Grand Canyon and other locations to capture time lapse scenes. In late 2009 they went to New Mexico to cover the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta. Some of these movies can be seen on their YouTube channel.
David began his ENG (electronic news gathering) career in the mid 80s. He still works today as a cameraman for a local news station. In the late 90s Dan started his career in the telecom industry where he is employed today. There’s more to be written in this time lapse story so stay tuned.