Having been persuaded by my wife to assist her in her efforts at her charity group jumble sale event I had to find something to keep my interest up so I decided to use the opportunity to explore the technique of time-lapse photography. I had recently bought a remote control device (Promote Control) to connect to my camera primarily to have better control of my HDR bracketing but it also provided a great intervalometer which provided an ideal setup for time-lapse.
So armed with my 5D, tripod, some fresh batteries, large capacity CF cards and the Promote Control unit I set up at the jumble sale to try and capture the event and condense all the action into a video of 1-2 minutes.
Here is a brief checklist of the setup I did for the time-lapse:
1. Setup 5D on firm and stable tripod
2. Frame the scene as required for the final image needed (I used a 50mm and 16-35mm lenses for 2 separate time-lapses)
3. Ensure a new fresh battery in camera
4. Have a large capacity CF card in camera
5. Setup image capture to high resolution jpeg to allow for large number of images to be captured on the CF card. You can alternatively capture RAW if you want to do some digital zooming in post-processing
6. Focus camera and then turn to manual focus to prevent camera trying to refocus every frame
7. Adjust white balance from auto to manual
8. Take some sample shots to ensure exposure is set correctly and adjust as necessary.
9. Set exposure to manual and set aperture to large value (f/16) to ensure depth of field and shutter speed to approximately half the interval time, in this case shutter speed was around 0.5 secs. This gives a nice blur effect in the video replay and does not result in jaggy movement. ISO was set at 100.
10. Given the activity of the scene I wanted to take images every 2 secs so I set the Promote Control to take images every 2 secs and also set mirror lockup to improve image quality. I set no of images to infinite so I could manually stop after a period of about 20-30 mins. If you are going to be replaying the video at 24 fps and you are taking images every 2 secs then you must consider that you will need to record images over a time of 48 minutes to get a final video time of 1 minute.
11. I captured two sets of time-lapse images, one set with my 50mm lens (559 RAW images) and one set using my 16-35mm lens (926 high res jpg). So I had a total of 1485 images for the final time-lapse.
12. Once settings are confirmed it’s a simple matter of pressing Start on the promote Control and then stand around with your Starbucks coffee looking cool while the camera goes to work.
13. All the captured images on the CF cards were then transferred to Aperture for some basic post-processing. The beauty of Aperture is that you can set up any required edits for one image (e.g. cropping, enhancement, exposure, sharpening, etc) then lift and stamp onto all the images in the sequence.
14. I cropped all the images to video HD size of 1920 x 1080
15. I did some minor adjustment on exposure using the recovery slider
16. I added a minor enhancement to vibrancy
17. I then exported all the images to a folder for upload into QuickTime 7 Pro
18. Load the image sequence into QuickTime 7 Pro
19. Choose a frame rate replay of 15fps. I experimented with 24fps and also slower frame rates but the 15fps seem to fit the scene and the action going on. This also gave me a reasonable final video run time of around 1.5 mins.
20. I then exported the final video as a 720p sized video
21. Import video into iMovie and add titles, music as appropriate.
22. Upload to your favourite website, blog or YouTube
And here is the final product ……. not bad I thought for a first trial.