Three days in 3 minutes: Shuttle time-lapse video wows

The space shuttle Endeavour’s final journey, a 12-mile crawl through the streets of Los Angeles, wowed crowds of admirers. For Times readers, it was no less stunning to watch a time-lapse video that condensed the shuttle’s three-day trek across the city to about 3 minutes. 

The video really took off on social media, and has been one of the most-viewed stories on and most-shared content on Facebook and Twitter this week. And it earned its creator, Times photojournalist Bryan Chan, much applause.

[View the story "Response to the time-lapse video" on Storify]

But a few commenters on The Times' website regretted that some locations were missed in the clip.

AndrewLA2 said: "I'd lke this time-lapse more if it didn't skip all of Crensshaw Bl and a chunk of King Bl."  

And Joe Goria asked: "…why did Chan leave out the Shuttle passing by Inglewood City Hall and The History of Transportation art mural and The Forum?"

Chan responded directly to the commenters: "Unfortunately crowds stood in front of the cameras on those shots."

The video is made up of thousands of still photos, all taken by Chan with multiple cameras. He drove around in advance to find good angles and spots, and to ask for access to rooftops and balconies of some apartments.

"I had sort of a game plan in mind," he said in the video chat with Times City Editor Shelby Grad about how he handled this big project.

The cameras capture both daytime and nighttime scenes. So when, exactly, did Chan sleep?

"From Thursday morning to Sunday night I think I got about 12 hours,"  Chan said.

More behind-the-scene details are included in a post by Chan on The Times' Framework blog.

Xiaonan Wang is an intern in The Times' Washington Bureau.

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