Archive for October, 2010

A Year of Time-Lapses

Posted in Uncategorized on October 27, 2010 by Ron Risman

This compilation contains time-lapses captured in southern Maine, the seacoast of NH, Groton, MA, and Boston, MA. Most of the time-lapses in this compilation were taken as individual still-frames shot over a period of time, then combined to create motion video.

It takes 30 still images to create 1 second of video, which is why most time-lapse sequences are usually less than 20 seconds in length. When shooting time-lapses of fast action (cloud or people movement) you can usually have the camera take a still frame every few seconds. If capturing 10 frames per minute it would take about 3 minutes to create 1 second of motion video (10 frames x 3 minutes = 30 frames. 30 frames = 1 second of video).

At night, in order for the camera to see all the little stars in the sky each exposure might take 30-40 seconds, which means to capture the required 30 frames (for 1 second of video) it would take about 30 minutes, assuming a 15-20 second delay between exposures. So when you see an 8 second time-lapse of stars moving across the sky you’ll know that the photographer or cinematographer spent at least 3 hours outdoors to capture enough still frames to turn into the 8-second video. Often times I’ll spend 6-9 hours capturing stars and then only use the best 3-4 seconds of footage from the 12-15 seconds that I captured.

You can also capture daylight time-lapse sequences by recording video (instead of taking still frames) and then speeding up the video during the editing process. There is a time and place for this type of time-lapse though there are some effects that are more difficult, if not impossible to capture, using this technique. Both methods have their time and place.

Time-lapses are time consuming to create, especially star lapses.