Montag, 10. Juni 2013

Time Lapse

Video made out of single photos


Maybe not all know what is meant with time lapse or how it is done. Time Lapse videos are made out of single shots. Thats why every photographer can do this without having a video cam or a DSLR with video funtionality.

What do you need for it:
* a tripod
* a camera being able to be triggered remotely
* a remote controller (e.g. TC-80N3) (would be a bit annoying to trigger it by hand...)
* enough space on your memory card
that's mainly all you need to do a time lapse video. Of course there are other remote controllers available, the above example is just because I am using it on my Canon.

Which settings to put on the camera ?
* put all in manual mode what you can put into manual. Means, no autofocus, no automatic white balance, no auto ISO, no shutter or f-stop automatic.

Since the light may change over time, the settings for ISO, shutter or f-stop may change too, if you put it into auto-mode. That's why you should put your cam in M (manual) mode, select the f-stop and use a low ISO rate. Adjust the shutter speed accordingly to get a normal balanced photo.
I prefer to go a bit below the normal brightness and go with 0.5 or 1 stop under exposed. If the light conditions vary, it is easier to get back the dark areas than the overexposed white areas. In worst cases, the overexposed areas cannot be recovered.
The shutter speed is not so critical, since the camera is on the tripod anyhow. The only thing you have to keep in mind, is to have a faster shutter speed than the image sequence (each x seconds one shot with x > shutter speed)

By the way, all shots were taken in RAW format. But what I did to reduce the amount of memory used for the shots, was to reduce the RAW size. Means I don't shoot with >5000px, but reduced to ~2700px. Since the output video won't be more than 1920x1080, you don't need the maximum size available by the DSLR. This will raise the number of images to be stored on the memory card.

So far the camera settings. On the remote controller I select to take an image every 5 seconds.

For the number of shots you need for a time lapse video you can calculate like this:
e.g. 25 frames per seconds = 25 shots for 1 second of video
For this video ( ~14 seconds) I took 353 photos.
If you now think of 353 photos and every 5 seconds one shot -> means ~30 Minutes.
So if you go for time lapse videos, take a good book or magazine with you to be entertaint anyhow while you wait for the time lapse shots to be finished ;-)