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Time-lapse of Acadia National Park reminds us to slow down

Will Greene takes thousands of photos inside Acadia National Park, and strings them together in an incredible time-lapse video.

MOUNT DESERT, Maine — Will Greene takes thousands of photos a day of pretty much the same thing. He's a young photographer who typically spends his work days swimming over coral reefs in the Bahamas, snapping photos and mapping out models for researchers to learn from. Will has been working from home in Mount Desert Island, piecing together those models.

"I have tens of terabytes of photos; hundreds of thousands of them on hard drives here and what I do when I'm in the office is take a section of them that's from one reef and them process them into a program that uses technology called photogrammetry and it stitches them all together into one model, it finds tie points between them and what you end up with is a 3-dimensional structure of the whole reef area," Will explains. From there, researchers can learn from how complex the reef structures are, determining how healthy the habitat is for fish populations around it. They can also fate track the colonies, comparing new photos to older ones to watch growth. 

While home, Will spends a lot of time in Acadia National Park, snapping photos. In 2016, he released a time-lapse of the park, stringing those photos together with music. "It taught me that spending a lot of time in a place gives you a whole new level of appreciation and awe from it that you can’t really get by just driving to the top of Cadillac and watching a sunrise for 10 minutes," he says. "We all live our lives so quickly and everything is so fast and it was just an amazing opportunity to really slow down and be super intentional, it was almost a meditative experience in a lot of ways."

Will has recently released a new time-lapse, Acadia II. While the park certainly is different in the midst of a pandemic, he hopes people can learn from his work. "The product that I make out of this is extremely visual and provides an amazing educational opportunity for people who have never seen coral reefs or haven’t seen Acadia, kind of the same deal, to sort of experience it virtually and be inspired by it," Will says. "It’s my belief that the more we can get humans in this world to appreciate the world around them and where they live, the more we’re gonna be able to protect it, and the more inspired we will be to preserve nature and the planet."

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