Messing with Time Lapse

Made my first attempt to create a time-lapse video the other day, with the oft-used “melting ice” test. (Hey – it’s easy to control, relatively quick, and convenient as you can do it from home). Way too much flicker (natural light changing from the kitchen window), but was glad I at least got it to work. Will need to try to another one of these with nice subject manner sometime soon.

The details: This was done with 1 photo every 30 seconds over two and a half hours.. I didn’t let it fully melt because I got impatient and wanted to use my computer again.. (without a device called an intervalometer, I needed to use my computer to drive my camera).

2 thoughts on “Messing with Time Lapse

  1. This is incredible!

    Okay, curious — in basic terms, how do you set this up? I mean, I have access to an SLR but no idea how to do this. Also, for amateur photographers who, say, go on vacation to Florida, what are some good ways to use this feature? I can imagine it being cool to capture a sunrise or sunset off a balcony or something.

    Did you quench your thirst after waiting an hour and a half with a refreshing glass of sloghtly cool, watered down Coke? Refreshing!

    • Pasman,

      It’s actually relatively straight-forward. Depending on your digital SLR, you may already be equipped to do this. You need to have a means to take photos at timed intervals for a predefined duration (i.e., take 1 photo every 15 seconds for 2 hours). Some cameras can do this on their own, but in other cases, the software included with your camera may allow your laptop to “drive” your camera and do this. Lastly, there is the option of an outside device called an “intervalometer”, which acts as a remote shutter release, and can take timed intervals as described above.

      The only other equipment you might need is a tripod, or a way to keep your camera completely still during the length of the shots.

      Once you’ve got the above, you’re all set. Find a subject (a sunset or sunrise would actually be terrific, and I’m looking to do just that at some point soon), and take your photos.

      You’ll be left with hundreds (thousands?) of individual photos. There are some simple free-ware programs online you can use to stitch these together into a movie. From there, you can use any movie editing software (I used iMovie), to edit the clip down a little, and add some music.


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