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Time Lapse Photography With The Pentax K-50

Emma tries her hand at time lapse photography with the K-50.

| Digital SLRs
While it was dreary outside, I noticed that a flower on one of our orchid plants was just about to start blooming. I thought it would be a great opportunity for me to try out some time lapse photography with the Pentax K-50

I used the 'Interval Shooting' mode, which is accessed by pressing the Menu button, and scrolling across to the second menu, where interval shooting is the fourth option down. One you've accessed this, you can choose how long you want the interval between shots to be, and how many shots the camera will take before it stops. You can also choose to start the interval immediately, or set a time for it to begin. 

I set the camera up on a tripod, and positioned the plant so that there was a plain background behind it. I then tilted the angle of the camera on the tripod accordingly so that the bud was around about in the centre of the frame. 

Here is the result:
Orchid GIF
Image © Emma Kay

As you can see, the result is far from perfect and I learnt a few things from my first go at time lapse photography:

You need a constant light source. The light changed throughout the day, and this changed the colour throughout the images. The shadows and reflections also change. This could have been eliminated if I'd used a couple of lamps either side of the orchid.

Plan your shot properly - My images all came out dark. It probably didn't help that I didn't take any test shots first to assess what settings I might need. I am learning more and more that a big part of photography is taking the time to plan and set up your shots properly. The darkness of the images could be altered in Photoshop, so all is not lost there.

Make sure the camera isn't set to automatically turn off after a certain time! I didn't realise that the Pentax K-50 automatically turns off after 30 minutes of no interaction, unless you set it not to, to preserve battery. The first time I attempted to set the time lapse up the camera took two images and turned off without me realising. Which goes to show that it's important to read your camera's manual! 

Set the camera for shorter intervals. Here I set the camera to take an image every 15 minutes, and it's a bit jerky. Maybe 5 minutes would have given me a smoother outcome as I'd have had more shots to play with when creating the sequence. 

Overall, I'm quite pleased with my first attempt, and I hope to have another go next time a plant in our house begins to bloom. 

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