French Photographer Makes Stunning Time-Lapse Video of San Francisco

Photographer, Timelapse producer based in Toronto (ON), Canada.

TORONTO, ONTARIO – Stéphane Legrand, a French videographer and photographer, recently completed an original production, ‘San Francisco’, a time-lapse video of one of his favorite cities in the world, San Francisco. Legrand created similar videos of Paris, New York and his current location, Toronto. His unique vision and daring shots make for an inspirational piece honoring one of the greatest cities in the United States.

In a time when San Francisco is the focus of worldly discussions, Legrand captures San Francisco as the strong, resilient city it is.

“Being from Normandy, France, I’ve grown up with a love and fascination with San Francisco,” Legrand said. “So many French citizens dream of spending time in San Francisco and I want this video to be a celebration … a tribute to the people that live in this wonderful place.”

I wanted to create something different than I had in the past. I love watching drone footage, and I initially was thinking to film with one. However, after looking at the legislation, I realized flying a drone was too complex in San Francisco.

I stayed 2 days in the the city. It may seem like more than enough, but in reality it is not nearly enough. The perfect conditions to create a timelapse are a sunny day with clouds moving in the sky. The motion of the clouds makes the video more eye-catching. By staying only 2 days, my plan required to have some luck with the weather.

Fortunately, I had great conditions for every sunrise and sunsets I shot. I had to wake up early in the morning to capture the sunrise. I walked up to 18 miles/30km a day with 2 bags (about 44lb/20kg). It was worth it though, as walking is the best way to find the ideal spot for shooting.

On the first day I woke up at 4AM, grabbed a taxi and went to the ills beside the Golden Gate.

The view from there is amazing. I arrived at 5AM, I was the only one person there. I love that sensation, when an iconic place is empty, and you feel this place belongs to you for a few minutes. That reminds when I was a student in Paris, I was walking back home after parties in the early morning, the Eiffel Tower was empty, and I felt I was the owner for a few minutes too.

After shooting an epic sunrise with plenty of warm colors, I went to Sausalito where I filmed some B-rolls. This place offers a great view of San Francisco’s skyline. I got my breakfast there in this lovely area, and headed to the downtown of San Francisco. I discovered for the very first time Alamo Square which provides snapshot-worthy views of San Francisco’s iconic Victorian architecture.

I got my lunch and spent my afternoon in the downtown area and went to Twin Peak to film the sunrise. The perspective from there was excellent, it offers unique view of the city.

On the second day, I went back to the Golden Gate area at sunrise, weather was great again. As a professional photographer I can say that it’s not often that you get an epic sunrise 2 days in a row. It’s more like an epic sunrise every 10 attempts. Then I spent my day filming and visiting the downtown of San Francisco. I went to Oakland for the sunset. It took about about 45 minutes to get there. I remember when looked to Google Maps on my phone while I was on my way to that final spot, I saw all those worldly famous names such Facebook, Twitter, Berkeley. I arrived at the top of the hills. The spot was great showcasing with the Bay Bridge in the foreground and the San Francisco’s skyline in the background. Once I filmed I went to the airport and flew back to Toronto.

To view more of Stéphane Legrand’s work, go to, and follow him on Facebook and Instagram. Email Stéphane Legrand.

Release ID: 350404