Well, after reading and watching time lapse (TL) videos and thinking “I can do that!” I decided to give it a whirl. So here is my “I can do that!” video!

[vimeo 25581626]

For my first attempt I was very pleased with the results.  Could it have been better? Yes! But the main thing for me was that I actually took the time to setup my tripod, camera, and edited the images into a video.  I did all of this in one evening after work so TL photography is not as time consuming as I thought it would be and is very addicting.

The technical info:

I was using a Manfrotto 3001 w/ pan tilt head with a Canon 20D w/ 17-40 f4.  The 20D settings were ISO 100, AV mode  at f4, one shot,  -1 exposure, and in RAW. I didn’t use mirror lockup or long exposure noise reduction and the lens was set to manual focus and at 17 mm. To remotly trigger the shutter I used the TC-80N3 and it was set to Interval Timer Mode of 1 minute.

The TL was started at 4:53p and the last image was taken at 6:42p. Being just short of 2hrs the TL played at 24fps (frames/sec) only lasts for 4 secs.  So that is one area I want to imporve on in furture TLs. To edited the images I used LightRoom 3 and with the help of this slideshow plugin (http://lightroom-news.com/2009/10/28/direct-timelapse-video-export-from-lightroom/) whichs allows you to export your slideshow in 720p at 24fps which I believe makes the landscape TLs look much cleaner. To back track here is my LR3 workflow for the TLs. Once I have downloaded the images to LR3 then I convert all images from Canon’s RAW format to DNG. After they are DNG I edit the first image then snyc the rest of the images to the same settings then convert to jpg. Now with all the jpgs in their own folder I select them all then go to the slideshow module and select the 24fps Timelapse (link above also has the templates for dload and a video on how to use the template and how to install it) preset from my user templates list then export as 720P TL, save and you are done.

So what did I learn:

1. Get a larger CF card – 2GBs is just not enough for this style of photography. Unless you like to swap out cards and run the risk of moving your camera or forget to swap the card and have a gap in your images.
2. Take an image every 20-30 secs unitl your exposure lenght gets within 5 secs of the  time interval then move the image interval to 1 min.
3. The  cold air (10F) temp will suck the juice right out of your batteries and you!
4. Turn off the image review to help with battery life.
5. Under exposing by 1 stop makes the blacks pop in the images.
6. Having a very large ziplock bag to put your camera, lens, and remote release in before you bring in your frigid camera into your warm house will keep the moisture off your gear.

In closing this is a great fun, very additcting, and is different than from normal photography … at least for me. Since this TL was taken I have taken a few more TLs that were longer (4hrs +) and closer intervals (20-30secs intervals) and those settings do help no clouds or too many clouds break the TL video.  With to little clouds and being in the city the stars are not very bright so the TL is missing some action.  With a completely cloudy sky the clouds blur together and you can loose action. Well I hope my few experinces can help you with your TLs.

Thanks for viewing and I hope this helps inspire you to go out and take your own time laspe video!!


2 thoughts on “Time Lapse photography…

  1. Thanks JP for letting me know about the video not playing. I thought it was because every pc i tested on was windows 7. So now i have embeded the video from vimeo and seems to be working now. Please let me know if you have any more issues. Thanks, Andy

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