Tag Archives: HD

Time Lapse or Interval Recording

The new cameras that are out now have so many features and options that many of us just work out how to take the basic picture and call it a day. But there are some cool things if you dig a bit into the menus. You need to be a bit curious and willing to put in a little bit of time.

For example, on my Nikon D300, I can set up the camera for “Interval Recording” or what we all know as “Time Lapse” photography. This is where the camera takes a picture every X amount of time and then the stills get strung together as a movie. It’s a bit like stop action movies. And if you think about, digital camcorders and HDDSLRs are doing this at 30 images a second or more so it looks very smooth. We want to go the other way though in time lapse, we want to compress a given amount of time into a much smaller amount of time. For example, in my test video below, I shot for three plus hours at a frame every five seconds. This gave me something like 2,000 images at the end of the three hours. I used Apple’s QuickTime to stitch it all together as a movie. Then I imported it into iMovie and crop it a bit and added a sound track plus the eye candy at the beginning and end of the movie. My total time was under an hour to make this two and a half minute clip. And this is just the first test to see how well it worked. There are all kinds of applications for this style of photography, I know a wedding photographer who records the entire wedding and shows off a two or three minute clip which contains the entire cermony and the clients love it.

My equipment was pretty basic.

Nikon D300
17-55 F2.8 lens
Flashp Point carbon fiber tripod
Flash Point ball head
Carton of steel BBs to hang under the tripod

Software was also basic stuff

Apple Quicktime Pro
Apple iMovie

The settings were pretty straight forward. I set the camera to manual mode and locked the shutter to 1/125 and the aperture to F8. I like the ISO be auto-adjusted so the camera could compensate as the afternoon started to go twilight. I had the rig on the hood of my truck away from bikes, skateboards and little hands.

The Nikon D300 only does 999 images and then you have to reset it and start it over. You can get around this by using an external timer but that cost money and up to now, I had not spent anything. Go to Instructables to see how to make a TI graphing calculator into an interval timer. You can also find interval calculators for the iPhone such as this one by ClamClam Video.

I set up the D300 to shoot the smallest JPEG (2144×1424 pixels) which still exceeds the HD standard of 1920×1080 at 24 FPS. This gives me just a touch of room for some minor cropping which I did in my sample below.

Here are some pics taken with my G11 when I was setting up and testing the D300 before I shot the actual afternoon event. The first one shows the settings in the Nikon LCD window.
Interval Configuration

This one shows the basic set up using the carbon fiber tripod, ball head and D300 with battery pack.
Nikon D300 Interval Test

When you open Quicktime, you want to choose “Open image sequence”. You go to the directory of the images and select the first one. You then select the frame rate you want to use. The selection of 24 frames per second is standard for film and digital recordings use as high as 30 frames per second. Alot of web sized video use 10 or 15 frames per second. In my case, I could go as low as 12 frames a second and still have a decent frame rate for the video. I saved the file as the default MOV file because I knew I was going to put it into iMovie for further editing and clean up. I wanted as much data as I could get and I exported it from iMovie for YouTube.

Overall, my test was a success and very easy to accomplish. I already have plans to use this trick again in a more production manner and I can see how one might make a reel from it using several shoots tied together.

In the end, the only reason I did this was because I was curious about it and I thought it might be fun. You should try it. You might like it šŸ™‚

You can see some very cool timelapse reels here at 599productions.com

Addendum-

Here is a way cool DIY to make a tiny circuit that will trigger your camera based on the difference from the first press of the shutter and the second one. it will run till the battery runs out.

How To Build The Smallest Intervalometer In The World

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Posted in editing, editing software, equipment, event photography, Hardware, photography, technique, youtube Also tagged , , , , , , , , |

Life is not just still life

I dug this out of the archives from a couple of years ago. I had an idea for doing a series of podcasts on travel photography and used Disneyland as my first podcast. I really hate the “kodak” shot which tend to be very boring images. So I took several of my favorite shots from the park, added video and a voiceover to give an idea of what can be done with very little effort on the photographers part and without annoying the rest of the family with the “wait here for a minute”. I never pursued the podcast any further but one of these days I might goof around some more with it. Video was alot more work than I thought it would be and between gigs, kids and life, I just dont have alot of time to good with it.

I used iMovie on my Mac to make this flicks and kept things simple. I used two different video cameras, a Sony Hi8 and a Sony MiniDV. Neither are state of the art even then but they were useable and still are but look pretty low quality compared to the new HD rigs.

So here is my first attempt at making a video podcast. I had alot of fun making it and learned alot in the process. There is some good information on shooting pictures at Disneyland so I hope you find something useful in also.

Its interesting to watch these now with the current technology like the RED being used to shoot a “video” of a wedding and then printing stills from the video because the quality is so high. Of course, the camera and support equipment will set you back 20 thousand dollars or more but in the near future, I think at least the high end weddings will be shot on video and then the stills will be taken from the video stream instead of having both a videographer and a still photographer present. I see the high end wedding being shot with two video cameras to get the angles and pull everything else from that. Might be sooner than I think with the newest DLSRs shooting HD video now abet in a primitive form.

Here is a second podcast I did on some basic photography equipment for the new shooter. Again, this is about 2 years old since it’s referencing my old Nikon D80. But the ideas are still valid and very useful for the new shooter. If you know much at all about photography and shooting with digital, you probably already know most of what I talk about. Enjoy!

Posted in Hardware, photography, ramblings, video Also tagged , , , , , , , , |

We dont bounce as well as we used to

OK, not so much photography except my plate removal surgery ruined my chance of playing in the worldwidephotowalk this year šŸ™ Ā I really thought yesterday I could muscle through it today for a two hour walk, even got the Doc to change out the dressings on Friday instead of waiting till Monday. That was till I could not get to sleep till 1am and even then, very strange dreams. Ever since the surgery, my sleep has been bad, not restful at all.

So whats a person to do? Play with Lightroom of course šŸ™‚ Ā I had a “gallery show” coming up at a local coffee house Ā called:

Chapman Coffee House

505 N Glassell Street
Orange,Ā CAĀ 92867

Nice plan, good coffee and good rice balls (???) Ā No, I’m not telling the story, you gotta go there to get it.

Back to Lightroom, I found out I was not able to sort on images that are “broken” or in other words, LR is unable to find the original image. It would be the same thing as putting the images on a removable drive and then removing it after importing the images. You can see them but not edit them in LR. Seems to me to be a bit of an oversight.

Other fun news is that Ā the Kodak Zi6 pocket “Flip type” of video recorder actually works pretty well. At least for 120 bucks it does well and yes, even in HD 720. It needs imageĀ stabilizationĀ in a bad way but maybe next time. Rechargable batteries work but not for long. The device isĀ sensitiveĀ to the 1.2 volts dropping much below that. The normalĀ alkalineĀ batteries at 1.5 volts will last a considerable amount of time longer.

Other news? Ā I dumped Backblaze as a backup solution. Its Mac application went stupid too many times and when it does, I have to reboot AND almost always have to spend time repairing permissions and whatnot since it’s a power off, Ā not a clean reboot. So I canceled my account and nobody there seemed to care enough to even send a form letter. I keep telling people that the Amazon S3 services is the best bet and after 2 years, nobody has done it better yet.

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