timelapse movie

As I watched one of the last episodes of Quarks & Co I was fascinated by the time lapse movies this photographer made up. You can check out some of his on this website

I thought of trying it by myself.

Q: So what do you need for a time lapse?
A: Sufficient photo equipment and, be prepared.

First of all you’ll need a photo camera where you can adjust shutter speed, f-stop, focus and white balance manually, otherwise you’ll get unwanted side effects on your final movie.

Although it is not required to use a (D)SLR I would strongly recommend it. There are some types of usual consumer cameras that also have options to manually adjust shooting settings but before just using it check it out.

Other equipment commonly used for time lapse shootings are the tripod and a remote shutter release. The RC can be either wired, wireless or IR based, depending on your camera, shooting habits and last but not least your money you want to spend for it. Tripod and remote control both aim to reduce shaking during your session.

While shooting your pictures by using the usual shutter release button on your camera you might NOT notice you moved your camera while doing so. Let it be just 1mm you displaced your camera, I assure you’ll definitely notice it in your final time lapse.

As you’ll see I have some of this shakings in my movie. Because of that I’d like to add a battery pack for your, if you own one, SLR to this shakereduce list of time lapse equipment. I had to change my batteries two times during the shooting, which caused me more than one shaking.

Maybe one of the most important parts: An intervalometer or something like that. This highly useful equipment automatically triggers your camera to shoot, so you don’t have to take care of it any more.

Besides, for a time lapse movie it is crucial that your pictures are taken in constant intervals. Otherwise your movie will have something unnatural. You can release manually but, depending on your interval settings, if your variations are too heavy you won’t be happy with the results, again.

This part can be quite expensive, especially if you buy a “professional” one. I I for myself did some web research and found solutions that simply use a cable and a programmable calculator.

For my first run I had to swallow the bitter pill, I released manually.
But I built me a simple appliance consisting a mirror, my IR RC and a computer timer with sound notification. Using these I could release each interval without paying too much attention to the camera. I also choose an interval setting where variations would not take too much effect on the final result.

Next time I’ll write about motive settings, camera adjustments during shooting and creating the time lapse movie.

Have a look