First time-lapse experiments

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by Ray Morgan, Jul 6, 2009.

  1. Ray Morgan

    Ray Morgan TPF Noob!

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    Last week a friend of mine lent me a DVD of Baraka, a visually stunning "non-verbal feature," which inspired me to spend the weekend making my first attempts at time-lapse photography. Thought there's quite a bit to learn, it's not really that difficult.

    First the gear:

    • Canon 5D-II
    • Canon 17-40mm f/4 L
    • TC-80N3 shutter release/timer
    • tripod
    Here are the results of my first experiments:

    Time Lapse Experiments - a set on Flickr



    A few lessons learned:

    • Motion blur is your friend; it makes the motion flow more smoothly. I need to do some more tinkering, but I believe that the ideal exposure time is just shorter than the interval between frames. So, for example, if you're shooting one frame per second, a 0.8-second exposure would be ideal.

    • Doing any kind of video work on Linux is no fun. Though I'm a huge fan of it, the video utilities for Linux just aren't anywhere near what they are for Macs and PCs. I definitely did it The Hard Way.

    • A super-steady (i.e., heavy, solid) tripod is a must, just like it would be for video, and in fact it's probably more critical than for shooting video.

    • The finished product really needs music, which I didn't do on the samples above.
    Now that I have the basic mechanics of it down, I have some more creative ideas to try.

    More to come...
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 11, 2014
  2. TheGenericusername

    TheGenericusername TPF Noob!

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    very cool although the fireworks made it seem wayyy fast. so what programs did you use to create the time lapse
     
  3. Ray Morgan

    Ray Morgan TPF Noob!

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    I used an app called dvd-slideshow to stitch the frames together, and while it works well and gives lots of control, it's agonizingly slow.

    I agree that the fireworks go awfully fast, but that's shooting at one frame per second, which is as many as the timer can do. I could slow the frame rate a little, or compute intermediate frames, which would slow it by half, which might make it a better show.
     
  4. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    Looks like a butt-load of work to me.

    Kudos for stepping up to the plate and bringing it all to fruition. :thumbup:
     
  5. Moglex

    Moglex TPF Noob!

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    Nice!

    I may try that at a somewhat slower framerate with a leaf or flower opening.
     
  6. GeneralBenson

    GeneralBenson TPF Noob!

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    Pretty awesome. Makes me want to try it. Except I'm lazy.
     
  7. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Love it. But the finished product really needs variety, not music. Admittedly I doubt you were interested in giving up your seat just so you can get some different angles of people walking around before the fireworks started :D

    Very nice work.
     
  8. Ray Morgan

    Ray Morgan TPF Noob!

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    Thanks Garbz. I think you're right about variety - anything more than five to ten seconds of footage from each location is probably too much. Shooting time-lapse with a moving camera is a whole other skill, which is what I'm going to try next.
     
  9. Ejazzle

    Ejazzle TPF Noob!

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    that was cool!!
     

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