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Time Lapse Video With a Still Camera....

composite1's picture
Last seen: 8 months 3 days ago
Joined: 12/11/2008 - 7:54pm
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I've shot timelapse video with a video camera on a few occasions and got some really cool stuff. Lately, I've been experimenting with TLV using a Digital Still Camera. Here's a vid by Zach Wise on how to shoot time lapse video with a still camera.

*Note: From my own experiments, I'd like to add these additions to Zach's information.

1. If you have After Effects or another advanced software, you can easily import your photo sequences in as 'JPEG' sequences. Same rules apply concerning the correct numbering as importing with QT Pro.

2. 'Drag Your Shutter' means use a slower shutter speed than the camera would use automatically. A slower shutter speed will allow your subjects to appear to 'smear' (i.e. 'drag) themselves through your image vs 'Blipping'.

3. When going from Day to Night you'll have to use Auto White Balance particularly if there is man-made lighting present in the scene. When shooting Day or Night only you can get away with Manual White Balance long as lighting conditions don't change too dramatically.

4. You do not have to spend a bunch of money on a Timer Remote/Intervalometer! The one's made by your camera's manufacturer get pretty expensive and they do the exact same thing as much cheaper off-brand one's do with less features (like say an 'on-off switch'?)

5. Lastly, be prepared to either stay with your camera for at least an hour or more while it does it's thing. That or hide it really, really well! Time Lapse shooting is a long-haul endeavor.

Time-Lapse Tutorial from Zach Wise on Vimeo.


Eugene Rohland's picture
Last seen: 2 years 3 weeks ago
Joined: 06/03/2010 - 6:23pm

composite1, thank you for sharing this. I bought an off-brand intervalometer just yesterday and shall be using it to learn timelapse recording with the wife's DSLR, as my cam does not have the functionality. Your tips will come in handy.

Philip Bloom had demonstrated far superior quality time lapse results with his DSLR in still mode than doing a timelapse in video mode. I guess this is where the huge sensor of the DSLR comes into it's own?


composite1's picture
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"Philip Bloom had demonstrated far superior quality time lapse results
with his DSLR in still mode than doing a timelapse in video mode. I
guess this is where the huge sensor of the DSLR comes into it's own?"

Rohlux,

I'm currently doing my TL's with an old Canon 10D and my images with just the low/fine setting are between 1-2k! Doing it in still mode is far superior, but a lot trickier. This is where knowing the basics about exposure and using your camera settings will make the difference.

H.Wolfgang Porter, Composite Media Producer Dreaded Enterprises Unlimited, Inc. www.dreadedenterprises.com




composite1's picture
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Nice one Bruce! Glad you're back up and running!

Thing I hate about shooting the moon is the 'trade off'. If you want sharp lunar detail, you don't get any cloud or star detail. It's one or the other!

Well here's one I shot in daylight. Though the uncompressed version is phenomenal, this web-friendly version isn't too shabby. Let me know what you think.

Winter Sunset 01 from DEU-TV on Vimeo.

H.Wolfgang Porter, Composite Media Producer Dreaded Enterprises Unlimited, Inc. www.dreadedenterprises.com


Eugene Rohland's picture
Last seen: 2 years 3 weeks ago
Joined: 06/03/2010 - 6:23pm

"Winter Sunset 01" is an example of why I am interested in learning to do TL. It looks really sharp. I like the jet trails.

Magnificent sunset here last night. I tried a TL but it crashed. At least now I know how the intervalometer works.


composite1's picture
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Rohlux,

Thanks for the nod. This is actually a much lower res version! The original is almost 2K! This version is scaled down to 720p which is what I work with regularly. Don't forget to put in fresh batteries prior to your run. On my first test I forgot that!

H.Wolfgang Porter, Composite Media Producer Dreaded Enterprises Unlimited, Inc. www.dreadedenterprises.com


birdcat's picture
Last seen: 2 years 2 months ago
Joined: 10/21/2005 - 10:09am

Wolf -

Really nice - Love the contrails and sky color changes!

I did some more time lapse stuff a long time ago (like 1985) and would be hard pressed to find the tape now (RCA video camera - with separate VCR - had time lapse capabilities).

It amazes me how far we've come in so short a time...

Bruce Paul 7Squared Productions http://www.7squared.com


composite1's picture
Last seen: 8 months 3 days ago
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"It amazes me how far we've come in so short a time..."

Bruce,

Thanks for the nod. The way the cloud layer moves across the sky in the early part looks 'unreal'. I was so glad to have caught a partly cloudy day to catch all the brilliant colors of sunset. '85? Dude, you've been doing this stuff for a long time! Here I'm 'wiggin' out' getting what I can with my old 10D! Thing that amazes me now is how cheaply we can do this stuff now. Way back when you were rolling with RCA and VCR you would have gotten an Emmy for what I did in 3 hours waiting for the rig to do it's thing!

H.Wolfgang Porter, Composite Media Producer Dreaded Enterprises Unlimited, Inc. www.dreadedenterprises.com


composite1's picture
Last seen: 8 months 3 days ago
Joined: 12/11/2008 - 7:54pm
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Hey all, still doing work in DSLR Timelapse. Here's a how to vid from Director of Photography Phillip Bloom on DSLR TL's. He glosses over the topic and doesn't mention the 'oh by the way's' I ran into when taking my first steps into the mix. You can see them with the very first post in this thread. In the meantime, check out the vid;

Timelapse with a DSLR

H.Wolfgang Porter, Composite Media Producer Dreaded Enterprises Unlimited, Inc. www.dreadedenterprises.com



composite1's picture
Last seen: 8 months 3 days ago
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I wouldn't quite go with 'jaw dropping', but those are some great TL's. Helps a lot to having an interval controlled dolly to get the sense of movement in the shots. Definitely adds to the production values. I'm currently on stand down because of cloudy conditions for tonight's lunar eclipse. Maybe tomorrow night.

H.Wolfgang Porter, Composite Media Producer Dreaded Enterprises Unlimited, Inc. www.dreadedenterprises.com


Liber Studios's picture
Last seen: 1 year 11 months ago
Joined: 11/20/2010 - 2:11am

Wow, very cool timelapses!

Here's my second timelapse test (the first one wasn't very good). http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vg2pR-4rTzw


goat91's picture
Last seen: 3 years 5 months ago
Joined: 06/02/2011 - 3:39pm

Hey, I'm also a big fan of time laps. I've got Sony alpha100 and I'mconsideringto buy thisintervalometer. What do you think about it? I dont want to spend too much money on that. And I also have a question. Usually when I use my camera in normal mode the battery life is about 2h constant on. If i'm using intervalometer does it saves energy between time when it takes pictures? That would be great butother way I can only shoot for2h which is not so long for time laps....


composite1's picture
Last seen: 8 months 3 days ago
Joined: 12/11/2008 - 7:54pm
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Michael,

Make sure whatever type of IVM you get, it has an 'on-off' switch. Also use rechargeable batteries. They last longer and you can reuse them. As for your camera battery life, most likely what will happen is your camera will go into 'standby mode' in between shot intervals. So you should get an extended amount of time on your battery vice it being on constantly. Don't turn off your camera thinking the IVM will do it for you! Turn your camera on and leave it on until you stop the shoot. Also, use some sort of weighted bag (sand, pellet or water) to hold your tripod around so it won't get moved by the wind. Make sure your 'pod is level. You do not want to try and level out several hundred or thousand photos, because you didn't level the frame.

H.Wolfgang Porter, Composite Media Producer Dreaded Enterprises Unlimited, Inc. www.dreadedenterprises.com