Taking a time-lapse
Doing any time-lapse outdoors security is paramount, so keep an
eye on your equipment at all times. As you are likely to be in
one spot for a while, make sure you are in a location where you
are safe and is tolerant of cameras. You need check where you
are pointing the camera as some places such as military bases,
shopping centres may not allow photography.
If your camera doesn't have an interval timer you can still record
a time-lapse, it just means you have to manually press the shutter
preferably using a remote control to prevent moving the camera,
the time-lapse of a Rangoli
being made here...
was done this way. If you do not
have a remote control you can use the camera timer on its shortest
The other way to time-lapse is where you set the interval timer,
for example to show a flower opening.
you need some flowers, the best place is to get them from a supermarket
or garden centre. You need to set the plant up in a room that
is not going to be disturbed. You will need to set up artificial
lights as a light source and they should give consistent lighting
throughout the duration of the time-lapse. They do not need to
be powerful as the exposure can compensate for this, the plants
will not benefit from the light source as the type of lighting
is not for growth, so choosing a flower that has the energy stored
and flowering is imminent is important. Make sure the heat of
the lamps does not get too hot for the plant. It is worth putting
in a backdrop either of cloth or card for a neutral background.
Time needs to be spent setting the camera as follows:
Set the tripod up securely and in a place where it will not be
moved or knocked over. Attach the camera to your tripod selecting
either landscape or portrait, making sure if possible that the
camera battery can be removed. If your camera can charge from
a main supply using its own charger then use this. Make sure the
memory card is formatted and has enough memory for the amount
of shots, adjust the jpeg setting to lower quality to make sure
you have enough. Doing this will also help when you put the sequence
together in the computer as you may find if you have many images
on higher resolution, the computer can take longer to process
the large file size.
Exposure and shutter speed; the higher the f stop the more Depth
of Field you will get and helps to keep the subject in focus.
You can elect to use manual focus and decide where the final
point of flowering will be. The exposure needs to be set on
the flower and not the background, as the flower opens the exposure
level will change particularly if is a light coloured flower,
if you are not careful the petals will be overexposed.
will need to check your white balance and adjust for the lighting
you are using. The settings shown on the photo right are: Camera
is on manual, white balance on tungston, ISO is 50, jpeg quality
is low (sS) speed 1/4 second, aperture F8.0 and memory card can
hold 6390 images.
You now need to position the camera on where you think the flowering
is going to happen, this is not easy and so you need to make
sure there is enough space in the LCD or viewfinder for flowering.
Once you have set the camera, if it has a custom function setting
now is the time to use it, all the setting can be saved and
mean that you have them in case of any problem, especially useful
if you have zoomed using a compact camera.
set the Intervalometer or Interval timer, you will need to experiment
on time, I would suggest starting on say 15mins, it helps if you
are about for a few hours to check on progress, if the flower
begins to open alter the timer to less minutes. There is no fast
rule here and I have gone out and when returned the flower has
opened fully and playing back the shots the speed the flower opens
is too quick.
check the rate and alter until you are confident it is the correct
time. if you check our time-lapse
all have the time for flowers opening.
Photo right the Interval time is set for 5 min and will take 100
shots (its maximum) which will last 10hrs, if you are leaving
the camera for long periods make sure you have enough shots.
Once the flower has opened, you preview the shots and this should
give you some idea of how well it has worked. If you are pleased
with the results it is time to load into your computer.