Cheonan By Night: A Time lapse video.

I’ve been inspired by the work of people like Terje Sørgjerd and his AMAZING photographic work within the time-lapse method.  Please take a look at his most famous time-lapse that’s been viewed over 16 million times and still gets over 30,000 views a day.  It’s called “The Mountain.”

According to the definition by Wikipedia, “Time-lapse photography is a cinematography technique whereby the frequency at which film frames are captured (the frame rate) is much lower than that which will be used to play the sequence back. When replayed at normal speed, time appears to be moving faster and thus lapsing.”

With Sørgjerd’s inspiration I was motivated to invest in an intervalometer remote for my Canon DSLR so I could try out this awesome method myself.  Here is the result of my first time-lapse ever.  It’s call “Cheonan By Night” and these are scenes from around my neighborhood in South Korea.

The Process:

It’s far from perfect for my first try, but overall it was a good learning experience.  Before I went out, I did some research and learned that for one second of video, I would need 24 still shots.  I figured that more than 15 seconds of a single scene would get boring for most people, and I wanted a video that would last about 1.5 minutes, so I planed seven different places to shoot around my neighborhood.  A 15 second clip required that I take at least 360 still shots per location.  All together, I shot  about 2,800 still jpegs.

To shoot, I set up my Canon T1i (500D) with a Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 lens on my Manfrotto tripod.  Then I connected the intervalometer  remote and set it to fire 1 still photo per second.  To make sure I had enough still frames for 15 seconds of video (360 shots), I set my timer for six minutes (360 divided by 60 frames per minute).  Before I began shooting, I set up the camera in all manual modes so nothing changed or the camera didn’t try to refocus or adjust the aperture in between each shot.

Each scene you see in this film required me to sit there with my camera firing for six minutes each.  I shot in .jpg and the photos still used up 19 gigs of memory card space!

After I was finished I used QuickTime Pro to compile the images into a video, and iMovie to edit each clip together and add music.

My next major time-lapse projects will come from our coming trip to Cambodia and Vietnam.  Stay tuned!

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