USA Drivelapse/Timelapse Project

Posted by Brian DeFrees On November - 4 - 2011


I recently returned from a 12,225 mile roadtrip around the United States. During my trip I summarized each day in photos using the iPhone apps “Picframe” and “Instagram”. When I was traveling in my car I was shooting photos from my Canon 60D every 5 seconds with an intervalometer. When I was parked for the night or exploring an area on foot I was constantly timelapsing. Below are the photos and videos from my journey:


Daily Instagrams:


Vehicle Photos:




Behind the Scenes:

Equipment Used:


NewsChannel 9 WSYR Interview:


ABC News Interview


Featured on:



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138 Responses so far
  1. Fausto Brito Said,

    I was hoping to go on a road trip sometime next summer, I was wondering, how much did it cost you to do such an extensive trip? Mine will be alot shorter but I would still like to know the approximate cost

    Posted on November 8th, 2011 at 11:20 am

  2. Brian DeFrees Said,

    Overall, it was just under $4,000. $1,500 of it was gas and the rest was divided up between restaurants, food, drinks, campsite fees etc. If I was on a tighter budget I probably could have managed the same trip for closer to $3000.

    Posted on November 8th, 2011 at 1:59 pm

  3. gtm Said,

    yo, for your online vid on youtube, can you u put on the vid what states you are in as it is going through so we know where you are…. or even the city like sf, denver, etc in the corner of the screen…

    Posted on November 8th, 2011 at 5:14 pm

  4. Brian DeFrees Said,

    I was thinking about doing that as part of the video, I might put up a guide in the description or use annotations like you suggested if I can. Thanks for the suggestion.

    Posted on November 8th, 2011 at 6:29 pm

  5. AWC Said,

    What an amazing journey, Brian. Thanks for sharing. What’s the song (artist and title) you used for your timelapse video? Can’t find it on Shazam or Soundhound.

    Posted on November 8th, 2011 at 8:53 pm

  6. Norm Said,

    Same request as most, just any indication of what city or state you are in at the time would be amazing.

    Posted on November 8th, 2011 at 9:54 pm

  7. Brian DeFrees Said,

    your requests are now granted! turn on annotations and the state abbreviations are in the lower left corner, thanks for watching.

    Posted on November 8th, 2011 at 10:29 pm

  8. Brian DeFrees Said,

    thanks for watching! The band is called “Waking Lights” from NJ and the song is called “The Sounds”

    Posted on November 8th, 2011 at 10:32 pm

  9. Amanda Said,

    Very entertaining Brian! Great work. I saw several of my much loved previous “homes” ….made me homesick. :) I’d love to do this on a roadtrip. What a great documentation.

    Posted on November 9th, 2011 at 3:36 am

  10. Jimmy Said,

    Hi Brian,

    What an amazing road trip! I was wondering how many photo’s in total your 60D took when it was mounted on the windshield?

    Greetings from Belgium :o )

    Posted on November 9th, 2011 at 4:01 am

  11. Mark Brown Said,

    Brian – I am so inspired by your work. Woke of up at 4am and checked the Drudge Report to find your Timelapse Project. 2 hours now looking at all the things I find from your work ….. and i haven’t begun to any more than just crack the surface. I love what you’re doing. Recently retired and so I have been shooting more and more – shocker last week – I have 158 gigabytes of photos and video on my MacbookPro – I realize now I must manage my output better – bought a new external hard drive.

    Growing up in the Finger Lakes (Seneca Lake, Lodi) I became used to incredible panoramas of amazing imagery. I still own a house in Lodi and plan on living there full time eventually but I have a home in New Paltz too. From my Hudson Valley home I find wonderful shots of the GUNKS – Old Huguenot Street – and the Hudson River & Walkway Across the Hudson addicting venues.

    The sun is now rising from the East over the Hudson again and I find myself wanting to tell the world about you and what I saw this morning. AND — SMILE – I find myself wanting to drive around and take more pictures on my own. That’s what I love most about retiring – I could just get in my car and drive around all day taking pictures if I wanted…… and more often than not – I do just that.

    A footnote – a second obsession I’ve had since retiring is writing to soldiers overseas. i quickly ran out of interesting stories so I began a little newspaper I sent to them which I used to share pictures from the windows of my world. I took a couple weeks off from my writing #1 because my main 3 soldiers writing soldier buddies have been have just been redeployed back home (YEAH) and because I just shot a piece to showcase my Lodi neighbor’s Eagle Scout Project – The Abraham Covert Cemetery. God was good to me during my time filming in the Finger Lakes the last week of October – there was some absolutely gorgeous weather which made the bright orange fall foliage and views of the lakes pop like explosions of color. Here are a few of the photos from that time –

    I look forward to following your journeys Brian!!! – Sincerely, Mark

    Posted on November 9th, 2011 at 6:31 am

  12. Brian DeFrees Said,

    Thanks Amanda! Glad I could provide a little nostalgia for you :)

    Posted on November 9th, 2011 at 7:22 am

  13. Brian DeFrees Said,

    Hi Jimmy, Thanks! I’m not sure what the total amount was, but averaging 5 hours of driving time a day it’s probably somewhere around 200,000!

    Posted on November 9th, 2011 at 7:28 am

  14. Brian DeFrees Said,

    Hi Mark, thanks so much for the compliments and looking through my work! Good to hear from another upstate New Yorker!

    If I can do what your doing by the time I retire, that would make me a happy camper! I’m the same way, one of my favorite things to do is just get in the car, try to get lost and take some photos along the way.

    Very inspiring about the soldiers overseas by the way, I’m sure they look forward to that newspaper. Great shots on facebook too, beautiful area.

    Posted on November 9th, 2011 at 7:33 am

  15. Bruce Lucas Said,

    This was very enjoyable, Brian. What an inspiring trip, to run a circuit of much of the lower 48 states, instead of just driving straight across and back. Did you drive through Ft. Wayne, Indiana? I though I caught a glimpse of the botanical conservatory there, although I may be mistaken.

    Posted on November 9th, 2011 at 9:28 am

  16. Andy Nowlen Said,

    Greetings, Great work!! Could you share some of the technical aspects. ISO, shutter speed, aperture, white balance etc. How did you handle the changing appearances? Did you manually change the camera setting? Thanks again for the inspiration.


    Posted on November 9th, 2011 at 9:29 am

  17. Matt Said,

    Outstanding. I’ve taken similar trips in the same style you describe: avoid the interstates, camp as you go. I could easily recognize some of the lonely highways you took, even 13 years after I took my first XC drive. A huge grin broke out when I saw you turn onto dirt roads. ‘atta boy. That first trip started and ended just 45 minutes south of your start. I know I’m going to watch this a few hundred times. Thanks, you’ve made my week.

    Posted on November 9th, 2011 at 9:58 am

  18. Brian DeFrees Said,

    Thanks Bruce, I’m pretty sure I was north of Ft. Wayne in Michigan at that point in the trip, I was traveling along Rt. 20. Would like to back and visit Ft. Wayne and Indianapolis as well.

    Posted on November 9th, 2011 at 10:08 am

  19. Brian DeFrees Said,

    Hi Andy, Thanks! At the beginning of the trip I tried keeping the camera on manual as well the AV and TV settings. Unfortunately, the weather changes were too dynamic and it was impossible to drive and change the settings on the camera. I ended up using the automatic setting for the majority of the journey which for the most park worked well. I had to do some correction in post on some scenes to make up for over/under exposure but luckily the majority of it came out okay.

    Posted on November 9th, 2011 at 10:11 am

  20. Brian DeFrees Said,

    Matt, thanks so much for the kind words! That was the best part of the trip: staying off the interstates and traveling the old routes like Rt. 66 and The old Yellowstone Trail. The best camp spots were always the free ones on state land. There’s so much amazing sites out there that most people miss on the main roads.

    Posted on November 9th, 2011 at 10:13 am

  21. claudio ovando Said,

    Simplemente maravilloso….. muchas por tus videos ….. es como si uno estuviera soñando… Felicitaciones

    Posted on November 9th, 2011 at 11:02 am

  22. Jeff Said,

    Brian – Your work on this was interesting, engaging, entertaining and moving. 30 yrs ago I did a similar cross country trip – without the benefit of a digital camera. The images were imprinted in my imagination until you brought it all back to life. Thanks for the uplifting start to my day. Drudge Buzz! Can’t beat that. Your video reminds us all of the incredibly diverse geography, topogography and populace of this great nation. The music you chose was a superb match. Saw your credits to it in an answer to someone earlier. THIS is my idea of High Art. Keep it up. I’ll return to your website often and will be interested to know how and where the paths of life take you. Safe travels!

    Posted on November 9th, 2011 at 11:36 am

  23. stacy Said,

    WOW! Great work. So what part was your favorite? =)

    Posted on November 9th, 2011 at 11:42 am

  24. stacy Said,

    The thought occurred to me… how would it be to see our own lives from birth to death like this?? gives me goose bumps. Love the time lapse expertise you are sharing. =)

    Posted on November 9th, 2011 at 11:46 am

  25. Brian DeFrees Said,

    Thanks so much Jeff, glad I could bring that scenery back you! I agree, this country is so diverse and there are endless things to see. I appreciate the support!

    Posted on November 9th, 2011 at 11:46 am

  26. Brian DeFrees Said,

    Claudio, Muchas gracias señor!

    Posted on November 9th, 2011 at 12:23 pm

  27. Brian DeFrees Said,

    Thanks Stacy! Now THAT would be an epic video! Hard to choose one favorite but the northwest was amazing. Visiting the house where they filmed the Goonies in Oregon and then going to Kurt Cobain’s neighborhood and the bridge where he used to write songs were two of the highlights of the trip.

    Posted on November 9th, 2011 at 12:27 pm

  28. Shyam Said,

    This work is absolutely amazing. Even I am planning traveling the entire west coast and Rockies. I will try doing something like this.

    Posted on November 9th, 2011 at 1:37 pm

  29. Adam Said,

    Awesome video man, I’m sure it was an amazing trip. I’d love to do something like this as well one day. I was curious, what was the mount you used for the windshield?

    Posted on November 9th, 2011 at 2:56 pm

  30. Brian DeFrees Said,

    Thanks! I used the Delkin Fat Gecko suction cup mount:

    Posted on November 9th, 2011 at 3:12 pm

  31. Paul Said,

    Hey Brian,

    Was just wondering how long it took for this road trip? I was thinking of doing something similar. And also, would be great to know hotels/motels/campsites that you stayed at!!

    Awesome video…

    Posted on November 10th, 2011 at 5:08 am

  32. Brian DeFrees Said,

    Hi Paul,

    I was on the road for 55 Days. I mostly stayed at campsites and friends and families houses. I can try to compile a list of the campsites I stayed at if you are interested. Thanks for watching!

    Posted on November 10th, 2011 at 7:20 am

  33. John Schnupp Said,

    This is an amazing video and time lapse. I especially liked the New England counties. I did a similar route last year on my Harley Sportster. Rode from VT to Sturgis, SD. Then south to Texarcanna before heading northeast back to VT. Been tracking my progress on the bike with state line photos, I have a route planned for a 48 state ride. Doing something like this with a camera clipped to the front fender of a motorcycle would be awesome. Any technical info would be great, especially software you use for editing the stills to video. I got a D60 earlier this year and am starting to explore the many doors that a DSLR opens. Keep up the great work.

    Posted on November 10th, 2011 at 11:18 am

  34. Petar Said,

    Hi Brian, this is amazing and really inspiring. I shared it on! All the best!

    Posted on November 10th, 2011 at 12:01 pm

  35. Eagad Said,

    You use Honda Civic to road trip, how much cost to fill feul..

    Posted on November 10th, 2011 at 12:04 pm

  36. Sean Said,

    Brian – Super cool! I took my own cross country trip from GA up to MI then over to WA about 17 years ago – brought back lots of memories. Espescially the scenes in Wyoming, Montana and Washington. Also cool to see vids of you traveling through where I once lived and now live (Seattle, Portland and SF). Wish I had the time now to do what you did – thanks so much for sharing your experience! Made my morning, bro.

    Posted on November 10th, 2011 at 12:55 pm

  37. Cheryl Said,

    Awesome video…

    Posted on November 10th, 2011 at 12:59 pm

  38. Brian DeFrees Said,

    John, thanks for your post. The map is awesome with all the different state welcome signs, thats one of the best parts of a roadtrip! I used Quicktime 7 to convert my stills into video. Would love to see your journey after you complete it.

    Posted on November 10th, 2011 at 3:48 pm

  39. Brian DeFrees Said,

    Hi Peter, thanks for the share!!

    Posted on November 10th, 2011 at 3:49 pm

  40. Brian DeFrees Said,

    Hi Eagad, about $1,500 for the 2 month trip.

    Posted on November 10th, 2011 at 3:50 pm

  41. Brian DeFrees Said,

    Hi Sean, glad I could bring back some memories for you! Sounds like you had a pretty awesome trip. The West is just incredible! Thanks for your comment.

    Posted on November 10th, 2011 at 3:51 pm

  42. Brian DeFrees Said,

    Thanks Cheryl!

    Posted on November 10th, 2011 at 3:51 pm

  43. Tina Said,

    Absolutely amazing…glad you went through Missoula (and hiked the M!) and Yellowstone. Hope more of your work will be seen worldwide, you truly deserve the recognition.

    Posted on November 10th, 2011 at 4:15 pm

  44. Brian DeFrees Said,

    Thanks Tina, I loved Missoula!! definitely one of the coolest cities I visited. Need to go back to Yellowstone, I barely scratched the surface there!

    Posted on November 10th, 2011 at 8:19 pm

  45. Hector Cardenas Said,

    Just saw this on Youtube and I have to say thank you!! I now know what me and my friends will be doing next summer. I just love the video, it all went so well together. Thank you again for putting it up.

    Posted on November 11th, 2011 at 12:16 am

  46. Brian DeFrees Said,

    Hi Hector, Thanks so much for the comment, enjoy your trip!!

    Posted on November 11th, 2011 at 7:39 am

  47. Dennis Dandy Said,

    Tremendous work!! As a cross-country semi driver based out of New England for close to 40 years, I went through this vid pausing every few seconds to identify places I recognized. What a trip down memory lane!! Very cool concept, thanks for sharing.

    Posted on November 11th, 2011 at 10:45 am

  48. Brian DeFrees Said,

    HI Dennis, good to hear from a semi driver on my blog! That’s so awesome that I traveled the same roads you did and brought back some memories. Thanks for watching!

    Posted on November 11th, 2011 at 11:28 am

  49. Byron Lee Said,

    Awesome job! Like so many others that have posted thanks for rekindling a lot of cool memories. This is probably a stupid question but how often did you have to clean your windshield? Thanks!

    Posted on November 11th, 2011 at 12:55 pm

  50. Mountain Barbie relocated Said,

    What fun! My husband showed me your 5 min video this morning. We live in Hawaii now but for 15 years we lived down a dirt road off the dirt road between your Big Cottonwood Canyon and Main St Park City shots! Very cool trip and great way to save and share it. Thanks.

    Posted on November 11th, 2011 at 1:06 pm

  51. Brian DeFrees Said,

    Thanks Byron, actually not a bad question at all, I probably stopped at least ever half hour or so to wipe it off with a cloth and the Rain-X that you can see in the behind the scenes photos. I used mass amounts of windshield wiper fluid to try to avoid stopping but there are some nasty sticky bug out there that need physical removal. I should really try to get a windshield wiper fluid or glass cleaner sponsorship on the next trip!

    Posted on November 11th, 2011 at 1:48 pm

  52. Brian DeFrees Said,

    Mountain Barbie: I loved that part of the trip, would also like to cruise Hawaii someday too!

    Posted on November 11th, 2011 at 1:50 pm

  53. Phil Said,

    Great movie! I was thinking about shooting a time lapse movie of our drive from TX to FL next month using a GoPro. The DSLR will be used for the higher rez imaging.

    Posted on November 11th, 2011 at 5:56 pm

  54. Marc Said,


    I early like the video – is there a link to download?

    Thanks for doing this!


    Posted on November 11th, 2011 at 6:01 pm

  55. Mike Rodgers Said,

    Awesome is the only word to describe it! I didn’t realize you could still drive down the “crookedest street in America”, I thought it had been blocked off (I’m guessing that was the one in SF, CA, anyway).

    Found your clip on, btw.

    Posted on November 11th, 2011 at 6:32 pm

  56. Brandon Said,

    I would love to see a list of the campsites you stayed at. The most important ones to me would be the free ones you mentioned. Did you find these from one source or did you compile the list of the sites you stayed at from multiple sources? I have taken weekend road trips all across my state of Oklahoma and Texas. Now I’m ready to venture further! You’re video was very inspiring.

    Posted on November 12th, 2011 at 3:50 pm

  57. Dave Said,

    Truly amazing!

    Brian you have done something that most of us WISH we could do.

    It’s on my bucket list to do what you have done. I had to drive home from CA to CT because of 9/11 and I loved what I saw on I-40 headed east but wished we could have slowed down and enjoyed it.

    Can you tell us more about the Camera setup, the timing device that triggered the shutter, the daily process of gathering the images etc. You have set a precedent that many of us will want to follow. ; )

    Lastly do you plan to post the images anywhere? There are a few thousand that I’m sure would make great PC wallpapers for those of us stuck driving a desk all day.

    Again, GREAT WORK.


    Posted on November 12th, 2011 at 8:21 pm

  58. Sandra C Said,

    fantastic !!!! i am not from the usa, but just knowing the landmarks and pictures of different cities, most of the time i knew where you were and which way you were traveling, even without the map :) ))) heaps cool, look forward to the next one.

    Posted on November 12th, 2011 at 10:10 pm

  59. Brian DeFrees Said,

    Phil, Thank you. Would definitely like to invest in a GoPro myself eventually, definitely enjoy the wide angle lens on those.

    Posted on November 13th, 2011 at 1:06 pm

  60. Brian DeFrees Said,

    Hi Marc, Thank you! I don’t have a public link available right now but if you send me an e-mail I can provide you with one.

    Posted on November 13th, 2011 at 1:08 pm

  61. Brian DeFrees Said,

    Hi Mike, Thanks! Yup you can drive down it, I feel bad for the people that live on that street with all the tourists around! Thanks for telling me where you caught my video too, always nice to know where people are seeing it.

    Posted on November 13th, 2011 at 1:09 pm

  62. Brian DeFrees Said,

    Hi Brandon, thanks! Most of the free sites were state land located directly around a payed campsite that I happened to come across. Whenever a campsite was full (this only happened in California on my trip btw) I just drove to any of the dirt roads around the area and set up camp. You can find places where people have been before if you see fire pits that have previously been used. Good luck on your future trips!

    Posted on November 13th, 2011 at 1:13 pm

  63. Brian DeFrees Said,

    Hi Dave, thank you! I know what you mean, it’s very hard to appreciate anything from the interstate but you can at least get some nice scenery in along the way. I used this timer remote to shoot the photos: There’s name brand ones on places like Amazon and B&H but for a fraction of the price you can have one that does the same functions. I had 16GB memory cards that I shot on and when they were filled up I had an old Powerbook G4 that I used to transfer the photos to two Western Digital 750GB USB hard drives (two of them in case if one died). I’ve been thinking about sifting through them and trying to find some of the best shots, there are definitely lots of amazing images in there! Great Idea about the wallpaper though, If I have time to get through them I will definitely post them here.

    Posted on November 13th, 2011 at 1:22 pm

  64. Brian DeFrees Said,

    Hi Sandra, great to hear from someone outside the states that enjoyed the video. Thanks for watching and I’m looking forward to shooting another one soon!

    Posted on November 13th, 2011 at 1:23 pm

  65. David Said,

    Hi Brian, I really enjoyed your video, thought it’s fantastic. Can I ask you what do you use to stick the camera to your car’s windscreen. Thx

    Posted on November 15th, 2011 at 12:19 am

  66. Brian DeFrees Said,

    HI David, Thanks for watching. I used the Delkin Fat Gecko Suction Cup Mount

    Posted on November 15th, 2011 at 6:54 am

  67. Brian Said,

    Simply amazing. Thanks so much for doing this!!!!!

    Posted on November 15th, 2011 at 5:09 pm

  68. Brian DeFrees Said,

    Thanks for watching!

    Posted on November 15th, 2011 at 7:55 pm

  69. Chieko Yoshida Said,

    What a Beautiful USA!
    I admire your efforts.
    I would like to follow your locus.
    I’m a Japanese.I’m sorry for my strange English. ☺

    Posted on November 16th, 2011 at 8:29 pm

  70. Brian DeFrees Said,

    Hi Chieko, thank you very much! Your English is way better than my Japanese. :)

    Posted on November 17th, 2011 at 7:38 am

  71. Laura Said,

    Hi Brian! I loved this, what a beautiful country of ours! I have to ask, though, how could you miss coming up here to NH!? You have to be sure to visit New England/New York sometime…do a mini trip/minielapsed vid :)

    Posted on November 17th, 2011 at 1:34 pm

  72. Brian DeFrees Said,

    Hi Laura, Thanks! I know I would have loved to have included the Northeast in my adventure but unfortunately didn’t have enough time to go through those states on my trip. They will definitely be included on the next one :)

    Posted on November 17th, 2011 at 2:30 pm

  73. PFCTBLU Said,

    Brian, Kudos to you for getting out there and seeing the world along the road. It changes you in some ways and you will find yourself being reminded of people and places from this trip even years from now.
    Like you, I have logged just over 15k miles in the last two years from NY to CA including a 6K mile trip covering what’s left of Rt 66 and the southwest just last year. Most people ask why I would spend that kind of time behind the wheel. If you ask that question, you very likely would not understand.
    Thanks for sharing the video. See you out there.


    Posted on November 18th, 2011 at 12:46 am

  74. Brian DeFrees Said,

    Hi PFTCBLU, you are very welcome. That’s so true, people that don’t have the ambition to do something like this themselves will never understand it. Yet it’s one of most if not the most memorable thing you will do in your life, I met so many interesting people out there. Cool to hear about your journey, I really want to go from start to finish on RT. 66 someday.

    Posted on November 18th, 2011 at 6:58 am

  75. Ron Wodaski Said,

    Really enjoyed the time-lapse stuff. I’m also a veteran of several cross-country trips, but my only record is my memories; I did it back in the days when film was the only option. I’m interested to know how you got the motion in many of the time-lapse images. The zoom and pan stuff gave them some interesting motion.

    Posted on November 19th, 2011 at 2:30 pm

  76. Shannon Said,

    Brian, thank you SO very much for taking all of us along on your travels. I can only imagine how much work it was to put those 5+ minutes together! Well done. And good luck on your next adventure!

    Posted on November 19th, 2011 at 10:24 pm

  77. Froy Said,

    Great videos man!
    I’d like to know what kind lens did you on your camera? and did the camera did the job pretty good? I’m thinking to buy the 60d soon.
    Thanks for sharing. :)

    Posted on November 20th, 2011 at 5:13 am

  78. Brian DeFrees Said,

    Hi Ron, thanks for watching. There are so many amazing things that happened on my roadtrip that are only in my memories too. Pictures and Video barely scratch the surface! The motion in the timelapse video was fairly simple, all I had to do was just adjust the position and scale of the clip to achieve that effect.

    Posted on November 20th, 2011 at 8:36 am

  79. Brian DeFrees Said,

    Hi Shannon, it was certainly a process! looking forward to the next journey, thanks for watching!!

    Posted on November 20th, 2011 at 8:37 am

  80. Brian DeFrees Said,

    Hi Froy, thank you! I used the 18-135mm kit lens which worked out pretty good. I wish it had a focus lock in manual mode for some of the bumpier roads so I didn’t have to keep checking it but overall great lens. 60D is an awesome camera I would definitely suggest it, a real value for the money.

    Posted on November 20th, 2011 at 8:40 am

  81. Froy Said,

    All right Brian thank you for your prompt response I appreciate it, now i’m more positive about buying that camera.

    Posted on November 21st, 2011 at 1:32 am

  82. Arie Said,

    simply amazing project!

    Great Work!!

    Posted on November 21st, 2011 at 3:22 am

  83. Brian DeFrees Said,

    Thank you very much Arie!

    Posted on November 21st, 2011 at 7:28 am

  84. Bojan Budeš Said,

    Hi Brian,

    I just contacted you via youtube about this. My friends know that I have a dream about a tour like this so they informed me about your video. Anyway, great adventure, I’m so jellaous. All the best from Bosnia, if you ever decide to tour Europe, lunch is waiting 4 u…;)

    Posted on November 21st, 2011 at 3:03 pm

  85. Brian DeFrees Said,

    Hi Bojan, Thanks for contacting me. I hope you get to take your own adventure someday, it’s an amazing experience. I’ll definitely take you up on lunch when I tour Europe!

    Posted on November 21st, 2011 at 3:47 pm

  86. Ben Said,

    Hi Brian,

    First of all, amazing video! I’m doing a similar trip in April – July and it’s great to see so many of the places.

    Secondly, is this a continuous time lapse or have you edited out the more boring bits? 5 minutes seems quite short for such a long distance!


    Posted on November 22nd, 2011 at 2:17 am

  87. Brian DeFrees Said,

    Hi Ben, Thanks! Yea there was definitely A LOT that was removed, I was thinking about making it continuous in the beginning, but even at 2000% increase some areas were still too boring or the roads were too curvy to speed it and make it look right. Have fun on your trip!

    Posted on November 22nd, 2011 at 9:48 am

  88. Reghan Said,

    loved your video! i’m going on a road trip to seattle in the spring and wanted to do something like this. i was wondering what tripod you used to hang your camera from. did you make it yourself or is it available in stores somewhere? thanks, and great job on the video!

    Posted on November 23rd, 2011 at 1:03 am

  89. Brian DeFrees Said,

    Hi Reghan, Thanks! This is the mount I used for my camera:

    Good luck on your trip!

    Posted on November 23rd, 2011 at 9:02 am

  90. peaceman Said,

    Nice job! I hope to make such an outstanding journey someday as well :-)

    Posted on November 25th, 2011 at 1:05 pm

  91. Brian DeFrees Said,

    Thanks, good luck on your future journey!

    Posted on November 26th, 2011 at 1:48 pm

  92. Sleeman Said,

    Hi Brian thank for this awesome video. I would like to know what kind of software did you use for your video? Last year I went to Prince Edward Island from Montréal and the distance was approximately 3150 km and I filmed all my journey but I don’t know what can I use for my videos :(

    Posted on December 1st, 2011 at 7:20 am

  93. Brian DeFrees Said,

    Hi Sleeman, thanks for watching. I used Quicktime 7 to convert all my photos from image sequences into videos. Then once they were videos I used Final Cut Pro X to edit both timelapse videos. If you have a mac, FCPX is a pretty good tool for this type of editing, or if you’re on a budget iMovie would work too.

    Posted on December 1st, 2011 at 8:35 am

  94. Mikki Said,

    These are so awesome! I am totally inspired by your time lapse videos & photos. I’ve always carried a point & shoot on me and had a love of shooting pics, but I am new to the DSLR world and am going to be learning how to use it on my upcoming travels.

    Posted on December 9th, 2011 at 11:58 pm

  95. Brian DeFrees Said,

    Thanks Mikki! I actually use my iPhone the most these days, once I get some nice lenses I’ll probably start using my DSLR’s more.

    Posted on December 10th, 2011 at 3:40 pm

  96. Joe Said,

    WOW is all i can say. How many days was your trip? We did a 40 day 13,000 mile cross county road trip this past summer with our 4 kids. Never thought to do anything like this..My wife is yelling that this was a great idea and we should have done something like this.LOL. Truly amazing pictures and videos.. We have a shorter 3 week road trip this summer so maybe just maybe we will try something like this..

    Posted on December 20th, 2011 at 9:38 pm

  97. Brian DeFrees Said,

    Hi Joe, Thanks! The trip was about 55 days long. You should listen to your wife because she is always right…right? :) Definitely give it a shot and see how it comes out, I could do the same trip again and come up with a totally different video based on weather, traffic and other factors, you never know what you will see!

    Posted on December 21st, 2011 at 11:48 am

  98. Paul Said,

    Did you only use one camera the entire trip? I am hoping to do something like this in the coming summer months and only have a t2i. I am afraid that all the pictures may wear the camera out. What were your favorite places off of the road? I am trying to do more of the places and some of driving for the video. Great job and thanks for sharing!


    Posted on January 4th, 2012 at 10:02 pm

  99. Brian DeFrees Said,

    Thanks for watching Paul. I did only use one camera, the Canon 60D. I was worried about the same thing but didn’t want to bring my 7D along incase if something happened, luckily the 60D held up just fine and still works perfectly. Some of my favorite places off the road were Portland Oregon, I stayed there the longest out of any place on my trip. Another was Moab Utah, there two great national parks right outside the town. Anywhere on Highway in California is also a beautiful sight.

    Posted on January 5th, 2012 at 9:45 am

  100. Paolo Said,

    Nice, Very nice!!!! How did you shutter survive??????

    Posted on January 5th, 2012 at 12:51 pm

  101. Brian DeFrees Said,

    Thanks!! Canon’s are built like Tanks :)

    Posted on January 6th, 2012 at 1:03 pm

  102. Stevie Said,

    Brian, thanx for your inspiring work. It maked me buy a new camera and try it my self :-D

    Posted on January 20th, 2012 at 5:04 am

  103. Brian DeFrees Said,

    Thanks Stevie! Glad I inspired you, that time-lapse looks great!!

    Posted on January 22nd, 2012 at 7:39 pm

  104. Reanne Said,

    Hi Brian! All of this is so inspiring. My friends and I are considering doing a similar circuit trip, and I just wondered if you camped the whole way around or if you stayed at any hotels/motels/hostels/friends places etc.?

    Posted on January 29th, 2012 at 7:25 pm

  105. Brian DeFrees Said,

    Hi Reanne, awesome to hear you are considering a similar trip. to answer your question, all of the above! I camped the majority of the time because it was cheapest and sometimes completely free. Staying with friends and family was my second most frequented accommodations, and part of the reason for the trip, it was fun seeing people you haven’t seen in years. Hostels were the third most frequented accommodation since they the cheapest option when you are staying in a city for the night. The only time I stayed in Hotels was when I met up with groups of friends along the way and we all split a room. There’s also your backup option of sleeping in your car, which luckily I only had to do twice on my trip!

    Posted on January 30th, 2012 at 11:44 am

  106. John Corbin Said,

    Very cool video Brian. You missed two great states though. You should of went through Florida, because it’s so amazing down there. And you should of went on I-94 through my state of Michigan. I noticed you took the I80/90 Toll Road, which is just south of my house. Plus, I couldn’t imagine being gone for that many days from home. Again, great video.

    Posted on January 30th, 2012 at 12:52 pm

  107. Brian DeFrees Said,

    Thanks John. Yea Unfortunately I only visited Jacksonville on this trip but I have been to Orlando and Daytona multiple times, would love to go to Key West and Miami someday. Definitely want to go back to Michigan as well since I just passed through the bottom of it, I heard Ann Arbor is a cool place. It was a fairly long trip, but it went by too fast! I’m going to allot 3 months the next time I do it.

    Posted on January 31st, 2012 at 11:49 am

  108. Phil Said,

    Terrific stuff! Really enjoyed it. What app did you use for your stills and what filter for the vibrant colors?

    Posted on February 4th, 2012 at 6:58 am

  109. Brian DeFrees Said,

    Thanks Phil! The 2 apps I used the most too achieve those colors are “Camera +” and “Pro HDR”. I think they are both only $1-$2 and definitely worth it!

    Posted on February 4th, 2012 at 11:43 am

  110. Ryan Said,

    I can’t stop watching this video. It has got me thinking about making a trip of my own. I live in Michigan and there are so many things and places to see right here in this state. Might make a road trip around Michigan this spring.

    I was wondering what mounts you used to mount your camera to the windshield. I shoot with the 7D and 30D, both with the battery packs on them. Worried with the extra weight that I might not be able to find something that can hold them.

    Posted on February 5th, 2012 at 1:30 pm

  111. Brian DeFrees Said,

    Hi Ryan, cool to hear you might be making a trip of your own! I was only briefly in Michigan on my trip and would like to go back and explore it some more. I used the Delkin Fat Gecko Mount: I have used it several times with a battery mount as well and for the most part was successful if the temperature didn’t fluctuate too much.

    Posted on February 6th, 2012 at 11:25 am

  112. Nitin Gajria Said,

    Brian – as they say here in Australia – you’re a bloody legend mate! Looks like an EPIC trip. Thanks for taking us on this journey through the time lapse. I’ve been looking for a way to mount my EOS 50D in my car and now you’ve given me a solution! thank you! I’ve also started a Sydney time-lapse project (very early days)… check it out at and let me know what you think. I’m going to publish this link there as well. Cheers!

    Posted on February 22nd, 2012 at 6:12 pm

  113. Laurana Said,

    Hi Brian,
    I didn’t read all of the previous comments so I don’t know if you’ve covered this already. I’m wondering how big your sd card was to fit each day’s photos? Or did you stop and switch out a new one when it got full, or upload to your laptop and start over? I only have an 8gb so I don’t think that will work too well..Our trip is going to be about 1900 miles over five days.I also don’t want to use my dslr because I want it available to take other photos along the way..dilemma. I wonder if there is anyplace that rents cameras..

    Posted on February 22nd, 2012 at 7:52 pm

  114. Brian DeFrees Said,

    Nitin – Thanks so much for the comment! Checked out your project and LOVE the concept, looks like you are off to a great start. Sydney is pretty high on my list of cities to visit, I’ve heard great things! Looking forward to seeing what you come up with (I subscribed). Good Luck!

    Posted on February 24th, 2012 at 11:43 am

  115. Brian DeFrees Said,

    Hi Laurana, haha yea that’s a lot of comments to browse through. To answer your question, I had several 16GB main cards and 8GB/4GB backup cards. For the beginning of the journey I just swapped out cards and waited to backup until I got to my destination. But with frequent days of camping I started to run out of cards and began backing up in my car with my laptop and external hard drives since it takes awhile. I know what you mean about saving your DSLR for photos… I actually ended up using my iPhone for all my photos since I needed my DSLR for the project. I would definitely grab a couple more SD cards if you can and if you need a camera this site has decent rates:

    Posted on February 24th, 2012 at 11:47 am

  116. Luke Said,

    hi Brian!
    Great job!
    I enjoyed the drive lapse video very much!. It’s fantastic! I intend to do a similar work next month when visiting the Rocky National ParK. Would you please show me how to set up the camera (i have an Canon XSI) and especially can you tell me what do you use for for D60 power source? The battery won’t last longer for 400 exposures… So, what is your solution? Thank you! Luke.

    Posted on March 27th, 2012 at 4:58 pm

  117. Brian DeFrees Said,

    Hi Luke, thank you very much! Check the photos and the links for the equipment I used in the post above. They should help you make your own setup. As far as a power support I would either get a battery grip or a car adapter like this one:

    Posted on March 30th, 2012 at 12:40 am

  118. Luke Said,

    Thanks, Brian!. Keep up with your good work…
    Have a nice weekend!

    Posted on March 30th, 2012 at 4:37 pm

  119. Michael Ruiz Said,

    Hey Brian! I know it’s been a while since anyone commented on this but me and some friends have a few questions.

    First of all, how much were those campsites, on average?

    Also, do you think it would be manageable for four people to go on a 7,000 mile loop for $4,000? Me and my friends are planning a senior trip for 2014 and starting early. We don’t want to sleep in a car but we also lack money for hotels (plus the 21 age limit doesn’t help much) so we need to do this as cheap as possible. If you have any suggestions, we’re all ears!


    Posted on July 31st, 2012 at 12:12 am

  120. Brian DeFrees Said,

    Hi Michael,

    For payed campsites on average you are looking at about $10-$20 average. I would suggest using this site though and you can probably camp for free in many spots along the way:

    I think you should be fine on that budget for 7,000 miles with gas split between four people and free camping along the way. You should have some extra money for some decent food which is always a plus!

    - Brian

    Posted on August 27th, 2012 at 10:39 pm

  121. ‘Round the USA Timelapse Double-Feature « Said,

    [...] A little travel stoke double-feature from Brian DeFrees. [...]

    Posted on October 11th, 2012 at 11:59 am

  122. Lindsay Said,

    Hi Brian, what are the pushpins?

    Posted on April 20th, 2013 at 11:31 pm

  123. Dianna Funk Said,

    AMAZING video!! Loved seeing some of the places I’ve lived. Thanks for the reminder of the beautiful world we live in! I see you went through north Idaho,. Hope you got a chance to go through Sandpoint! Beautiful lake Pend Orielle and a breathtaking view from on top Shweitzer (sp) mountain of the entire lake and valley! If not, you’ll have to go back one day! Thanks again for sharing your talents and giving a reminder of the beauty around us!

    Posted on April 22nd, 2013 at 3:14 am

  124. Wes Said,

    Hey Brian,

    I am planning to take a trip similar to yours in 2014 and I was going to begin to start planning. Do you have any sort of list of places you stayed or places you visited that you could publish to know what to see and stay during our trip? If so please let me know!



    Posted on April 22nd, 2013 at 7:46 pm

  125. Brian DeFrees Said,

    Hi Lindsay,

    Those were some of the main cities I stopped in along the trip. Some of the pins were to move the map the way I needed to go but it gives a good rough idea of the route I took.

    Posted on April 23rd, 2013 at 8:59 am

  126. Brian DeFrees Said,

    Thanks for watching Dianna! I actually didn’t get to go to any of those places which means I need to return to that area ASAP! I stayed a night in Bonners Ferry and then moved East to Montana, I came back again from Jackson WY into Pocatello and then exited to Utah. Idaho was amazing though and I can’t wait to return!

    Posted on April 23rd, 2013 at 9:01 am

  127. Brian DeFrees Said,

    Hi Wes,

    I don’t have a list but this Flickr album chronicles every day of the trip and where I was during those days:

    Also check out my new website for apps that help you find interesting places to see along your route:

    Happy Trails!

    Posted on April 23rd, 2013 at 9:05 am

  128. Brady Said,


    I’m curious, I would like to do something similar on future road trips I take. I very much enjoy taking the road less traveled instead of the interstate because I feel like it takes me through more history seeing old towns that you wouldn’t see if you were on the interstate.

    But that said, I have an old Canon SD400 and I’m not sure how much expertise you have with devices, but would the intervalometer you used work with something this old? Also how does one take all the photos and meld them into a video? I’m never dived into the video editing or anything of the kind, not even photoshop! haha.

    Any advice would be appreciated.


    Posted on July 11th, 2013 at 11:57 am

  129. Brian DeFrees Said,

    Hi Brady,

    Glad you are willing to take the road less traveled, you will be glad you did!

    I’m not familiar with that model of Canon but you should be able to find an intervolemeter for it on ebay or amazong. I also suggest that’s where I got mine for much cheaper and they are still working today after years of use.

    To make all the photos into videos I just use quicktime on a mac and say “open image sequence” there are other misc. programs that do the same thing though, just search “timelapse program” or “image sequence” program or convertor.

    - Brian

    Posted on July 16th, 2013 at 9:01 am

  130. Kat Said,

    I never comment on blogs, but not only did I really enjoy your incredible photos and video, I am also impressed by your kind responses to everyone. It is very thoughtful for you to respond to so many posts! Thanks for making me dream about new places to visit and many happy travels to you!

    Posted on July 22nd, 2013 at 11:34 pm

  131. Brian DeFrees Said,

    Hi Kat, thanks for stopping by and taking the time to write a comment. I hope you find the time someday to take an exciting journey of your own!

    Posted on July 25th, 2013 at 4:54 am

  132. Marcos Said,

    HI Brian!!! Great job!!! Question…do you think that the same roadtrip can be made in 4 weeks? Thanks!!

    Posted on September 2nd, 2013 at 10:59 pm

  133. Brian DeFrees Said,

    Hi Marcos,

    Thanks! I think it could you would just have to spend a lot more time driving during the day. I did 9000 miles in 3 weeks ( so you should def be able to do 12,000 in 4 weeks.

    Posted on September 2nd, 2013 at 11:30 pm

  134. Dwayne Said,

    This is incredible. Do you have a full descrption of the route you took and the places you stopped to accompany the map? (I am sorry if this is a repeat question, i would just love to see the places you visited)

    Posted on January 13th, 2014 at 4:52 pm

  135. Brian DeFrees Said,

    Thanks Dwayne! Here’s a link to the full description of the trip:

    Posted on January 13th, 2014 at 11:39 pm

  136. BrianB Said,


    It looks like some folks on Facebook have taken the map of your trip and given it a different meaning.

    Hopefully, they’ll learn the truth and get a chance to see your really terrific work.


    Posted on January 15th, 2014 at 4:50 pm

  137. Brian DeFrees Said,

    Hi Brian,

    Thanks for posting the links to my websites so the folks on that forum were able to understand the map. The map posted there was made in AAA’s map maker where the pins represent waypoints and in most places destinations. I need to update it using the roadtrippers website like I did on my Route 66 one: but it does give an accurate representation of where I went on my 2011 trip.

    Thanks again for the help and taking the time to let me know about the post.

    Posted on January 16th, 2014 at 9:16 am

  138. Man Gives Us A Hint Of What We Could See On A USA Roadtrip — Map Included! | Splatter Said,

    [...] If you’d like to see more of DeFrees’ journey across 32 states in a tiny window of 55 days, check out his blog here. [...]

    Posted on March 30th, 2014 at 6:00 pm

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