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|Category:||Flowers and Plants|
Recording the passing of time - Try your hand at time lapse photography.
You'll find some great time lapse videos on the Haworth Village website.
You can use compacts for time lapse photography but a DSLR is the best option as they give you more control. You'll also need a tripod because unless you're particularly good at musical statues and can stand in one position for a very, very long time, you'll move the camera which means you'll end up with a jaunty final piece. If you don't have a tripod try using a table, beanbag or some other sturdy support that will stop the camera from moving. If you're using a DSLR borrow a intervalometer. It's a remote control which you can programme times into so you can go off and do your shopping while the camera snaps away. Take a look at the Pocket Wizard MultiMAX Transceiver if time lapse photography's something you're going to be doing a lot of. You can also get software that controls the camera when connected to a laptop but this isn't as convenient. If you're working away from home you also have to think how you're going to power your camera as batteries do run out and you'll need to be careful when changing them as any camera shake will spoil your image. Keeping your camera warm may sound silly but it does extend battery life or you could purchase an AC adapter if you're serious about time lapse photography.
You'll also need memory with plenty of space and if it's a particularly bright day a neutral density filter can be handy.
While deciding on your subject think about how much time you have to dedicate to this project. If you only have a day, go for something like a flower opening rather than a piece of fruit rotting or even a plant growing which can take days or even weeks. The length of time the transition of the object you're photographing takes and the interval you take the shots at will also change the appearance of the final image. For example, a piece of rotting fruit which may take three or four days to rot, you'd be OK taking shots with longer breaks in between but for something shorter such as a bud opening you'd need to take shots at shorter intervals otherwise your final film will look jerky.
Unfortunately we need to do a little bit of maths for this technique to work successful but we promise it's not anything too gruelling. Generally, you have 20-30 frames per second to play with and the more frames you have the smoother the final transition usually is. After you've picked the number of frames you want to use per second (we'll use 26 for our example) you need to work out how long you want the film to last. If it's a flower opening 30 seconds would be plenty of time. With these two figures you can then work out how many shots you need to take like this:
number of frames per second (26 in our example) times the length of the film (30 seconds in our example) = the number of shots (780).
We're nearly there! Next, you need to know how often you need to take a shot and to do this you need to estimate how long the event you're photographing will take (say 6 hours) then change this into seconds (21 600) and divide this by he number of shots you need to take (780) to get your final time. In our case it's 28 seconds and hay presto you have your time between each shot you take.
Once you've had a rest after working out the sums, set your camera on your tripod and set the white balance manually as due to light changes, if you use auto white balance you'll end up with a collection of shots that are all balanced differently. For this reason you should use manual exposure too. Then once you're framed-up and focused you're ready to go.
When you have your collection of images you may want to tweak them in Photoshop then you'll need software to create your video in. There are plenty on the market all which have various prices and range in complexity to use. You can use video editing software such as Quicktime Pro or try creating an animated gif.
You've read the article, now go take some fantastic images. You can then upload the pictures, plus any advice and suggestions you have into the dedicated Photo Month forum for everyone at ePHOTOzine to enjoy.