Time-lapse Photography Part 1

This is a late Tech Tuesday post. I have always wanted to try my hand at time-lapse photography. I have seen several videos that I thought were great. Unfortunately my equipment didn’t allow for easy time-lapse set up. I currently shoot a Nikon D70s. The newer Nikon models have the time-lapse (intervalometer) feature built into the firmware.

In order for me to achieve time-lapse I need to purchase external equipment i.e. The Mumford Time Machine. The new equipment wouldn’t even make it seamless. I would have to make modifications to my current camera setup and I wasn’t sure I wanted to go that route.

In July or August of 2008 I met a Pro Photographer from Australia. He was using high end Canon Cameras, but he also had the Canon G9. The G9 had a intervalometer built into the firmware. However shortly after Canon discontinued the G9 and replaced it with the G10. I purchased a G10, from a local store thinking it had a intervalometer. I was wrong, and all the G9’s out there on the used market either were abused or cost more then the G10.

A few weeks ago while researching this project again, I ran across the PocketWizard MultiMax. I already had PocketWizard Plus II that I use for my studio strobes. In the MultiMax the software has an intervalometer. I went to my local photography store to test it out. It worked great. It was expensive, but I at least could justify the purchase, because I knew I would use it with over studio gear, so it would serve dual purposes.

As with all new unfamiliar equipment I need to work out some bugs. However over the weekend I did manage to take a time-lapse of the sunrise in San Francisco, and later that evening I did another of the sunset in the same direction. I marked my tripod and when I returned, I placed it in the exact same spot. However, I did find out you need to babysit it to make sure that the lighting is right. Cameras setting is one of those bugs I will work out as I do more. Making sure the ISO is set right, Aperture an Shutter are set correct. I read that you should put the camera in Aperture Priority. I did that and it didn’t work like I hoped. I will play with the setting and come up with the right recipe.

My next quest is to find inexpensive (free) software that will complies all the images together. I have gone to VersionTracker, but most of the software they offer is for iSight on the Mac’s. I use a Mac, but I need something more then that. A few people have pointed me to QuickTime Pro 7. It isn’t very expensive and may work seamless with iMove. Unfortunately QuickTime Pro 7 doesn’t have a trial.

On a side note, while I was doing time-lapse research, I did find a photographer Nicolesy Photography, that does a two video series on How to Create a Time-lapse. Below is the first video of her two part series. Plus as a bonus I will add another of her videos of a time lapse that she did of a portrait shoot setup and the shoot it’s self.

Stay tuned for next weeks Tech Tuesday. I that series I will explain how I set up my first time-lapse and what I leard from my mistakes. Plus I will include Nicolesy Photography second How to Create a Time-lapse video and a bonus video as well.

If you would like tocomment or add links to your time-lapse photography video, please put them in the comments below.

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