Time lapsing

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by newyorker, Apr 1, 2008.

  1. newyorker

    newyorker TPF Noob!

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    Can you create a really cool time lapse by taking a picture of something, i.e. a residential home, once every day? And can someone fully explain to me the fundamentals of time lapse photography? I've been a photographer for a while but I've been inspired by time lapsing and I'd like to branch out. Thanks :D
     
  2. MarcusM

    MarcusM TPF Noob!

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    I don't think a pic-a-day of a residential home will get you any good results. Unless the home is under construction.

    I think the whole point of a time lapse is to show either movement or change with the subject. Generally a house isn't going to change from day to day.

    I don't have any experience taking time lapse photos myself but would like to try at some point.
     
  3. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Really? You'd be surprised how much a home changes in a day. Think about it, do it for a year and a home (or any landscape) will go through a season in 3 seconds. Watch the garden and plants change.

    The theory is simple. You are slowing down the capture framerate to speed up the film. Just like slow motion is done by capturing 60 frames per second and displaying them at 30fames per second (half speed), Time lapse is the opposite. Just remember your target frame rate is something around 25 or 30fps.

    The maths is simple. Take the shooting interval and multiply it by 30 to get the time for one second. Say I took a photo every 10 seconds. Then every 5 minutes (300 seconds) worth of shooting I will have 1 second of footage at 30 frames per second.

    Regarding how to actually do it. Just shoot JPEGs, make sure they are perfectly aligned (may be a problem i photographing over a period of a year), and open the JPG stream in VirtualDub (open source video re-mastering program available on the net). And save it in the movie format of choice.
     
  4. MarcusM

    MarcusM TPF Noob!

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    Right, the landscape and garden and plants will change, depending on if he gets them in the shots. I was just talking about the house itself.

    And of course there will probably be some seasonal change, if he wants to spend a year doing the time lapse.
     
  5. newyorker

    newyorker TPF Noob!

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    Mhm, I have plenty of landscape that can change.

    This is the image I want to create a time lapse with. I took this picture today.

    [​IMG]
     
  6. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    You never know they may paint it ;)

    Your major issue is alignment. You will need identical perspective, colour settings, alignment etc every time. The BBC's planet earth guys can do this by putting a computer controlled camera in a weather proof enclosure but it looks like you're standing in the middle of the road so this may not be possible ;)
     
  7. newyorker

    newyorker TPF Noob!

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    Yeah, alignment is going to be tough but I've analyzed my initial picture and I've figured ways to combat the issue. I've noticed that the windows of the dormer atop the boathouse is aligned between the beam on the next door neighbors porch. I've noted where the trees cover the windows along side the house, and where the curb meets the tree next to the sidewalk. I've also noted that the corner of the roof meets with the corner of the next door neighbors third floor window. Hopefully this will help me with any alignment issues.

    And here's hoping for a new paint job! lol

    [​IMG]
     
  8. confucious

    confucious TPF Noob!

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    What if someone parks in front of your shot? Not the end of the world, but it may make you miss a day, and it could happen often (if there is parking on that street).

    It seems like it will not be an issue, but when the foliage comes in on teh trees, will it obscure your reference points?

    Good luck!
     
  9. doenoe

    doenoe TPF Noob!

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    are you going to stand at that point at the same time each day, cause then you will probably get the light difference too (days getting shorter and longer) Could be pretty cool though.
     
  10. newyorker

    newyorker TPF Noob!

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    yea, im gonna take a picture from that spot every day at the same time so as not to get too much light difference. today i already got a light differnce because yesterdays picture was taken during a dark rainy day. today it was bright and sunny.
     
  11. MarcusM

    MarcusM TPF Noob!

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    Ok, now that I see the shot, and it's wide enough to include foliage, I think that will look good for a time lapse.

    A couple recommendations: I would either focus or move closer to crop out the house on the left, so that maybe the big tree is framing the shot. I think it detracts from the subject which is your house.

    Then, I think once you take your shot, you should get it printed and then take the print with you every time you go to line up your shot so that you can match up the points exactly like you were showing on your image. That way you can take a few shots to make sure it lines up nearly perfect. Also, if you get it really close, I'm sure you could line them up perfectly in Photoshop and then crop any unwanted border.

    Good luck, be sure to post your results.
     
  12. newyorker

    newyorker TPF Noob!

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    This is today's image. Like I said it was really sunny out today and I don't think my camera adjusted that well to the light which is weird because it usually does. As you see I tried my best to align it as perfectly as possible. I'll do better at that for tomorrow's shot I think.

    [​IMG]
     

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