Table of contents:
- Shooting Options
- You can't do without hardware and software
- Selecting the shooting method
- Required settings
- Secrets and secrets
- How to put it all together
- Facilitation of the process
The first photographic prints appeared only at the beginning of the 19th century, and, of course, they were static. “Moving” images, called cinematography, appeared only at the end of the 19th century, and developed into diverse offshoots only in the 20th. And among all the variety, a very extraordinary area of cinema stood out, originally called time-lapse (slow-motion) shooting, and years later it borrowed the name "time-lapse" from English.
There is not much difference between how Timelapse is shot and how slow motion was done back in the days of film cameras. The main principle is a reduced frame rate compared to the real time of the event. That is, what lasts for many hours can be shown in a few minutes. For example, disclosurea flower, a butterfly emerging from a cocoon, a sunset or sunrise.
And now a few words about how Timelapse is shot. Technologically, the process is as follows. A huge number of frames are taken from the same point with the same time interval. For example, the difference between pictures is one second. For many long-running processes, the gap is much longer. Next, the frames are assembled into a common video sequence demonstrating a certain event.
How to shoot a time-lapse? There are two ways. One of them is frame-by-frame, still the same time-lapse, during which at the moments of a break the equipment simply turns off and waits for a command to resume work. After a certain interval of time, it turns on and takes another picture. The second way how Timelapse is filmed is the usual video filming, which is subsequently broadcast in accelerated mode. It only gives good results if you have good quality equipment and good lighting on set. Usually both options are used, but professionals believe that the second is better and more reliable.
You can't do without hardware and software
Before you shoot a time-lapse, you will have to acquire the necessary devices and take care of the necessary programs. In addition to a high-quality camera (preferably a DSLR, even better a professional DSLR), a camera tripod is a must. Otherwise, you will not provide a constant angle for the lens. I'll have to buy a hood (who doesn't know -this is either an accessory that comes with the lens, or a special attachment for the camera, which provides protection against glare and flare in difficult or low light conditions). Spare batteries (accumulators) are needed for long-term continuous operation - there is hardly a power outlet nearby. And for installation - a laptop. If it is not there, the remote control will do, but if you still need to buy one of them, take a better laptop, it is more functional. For the final mixing of the video together, you will need Adobe After Effect; if there are several fragments, download Adobe Premiere; Adobe Camera RAW is very useful (it is part of the Photoshop program).
Selecting the shooting method
Before you shoot a time-lapse, you need to assess the conditions in which the process will take place, and decide how to properly implement it. On a sunny day and in the absence of a thick shadow from the surrounding skyscrapers, for example, filming the running of clouds across the sky or the movement of shadows from the same houses, you can make a video. It would be nice if the camera function included the ability to shoot HD videos. But if the shooting is in the evening or in the dark, it is better to do it frame-by-frame - the video option will obviously be screwed up. In this case, you will have to accurately calculate the time interval. We proceed from the fact that two hours of "real" need to be put into 30 seconds. Then a photo should be taken every 9.6 seconds. However, professionals always do tests before shooting Timelapse. Maybe you need a longer interval, maybe a shorter one, so you will have to spend somewhere on a trial "run"half an hour.
If there is a possibility of video filming, you need to use it, but at the same time remember that in most equipment only half an hour is allotted for the video, so do not forget to resume recording.
Before shooting a time-lapse, a lens hood is put on the lens, unless, of course, it is built-in. Glare will only spoil the overall picture. The tripod is set as stable as possible: the slightest “sagging” will make the video unreliable. All extraneous "bells and whistles" are best cut down. The camera enters Manual Mode. The “white” balance is set manually and does not touch until the end of the shooting. You will have to experiment with ISO: depending on the environmental conditions, it fluctuates between 100 and 1280, but never goes beyond these values. If a significant change in illumination is not expected, the exposure is reset to zero, if you are waiting for dawn, it is set to minus 1. Be sure to shoot (necessarily!) in RAW. In the future, this will help with exposure, noise control and much more.
Secrets and secrets
If you have taken test shots, reviewed them and are satisfied with the result, turn off frame viewing in your device - save quite a lot of energy. It is better to check the set settings - and more than once, sometimes mistakes are made purely mechanically. The main "jambs": battery charge or forgotten spare batteries (depending on which camera is available); lack of free space in the camera memory or on the card; a separate folder for shooting has not been created - manythen they spend hours searching for the necessary files only because they lump everything together and do not know the names of the files.
How to put it all together
When you have filmed everything you were going to, only the editing remained. Make sure that all the individual parts of your film are numbered consecutively. For those who don't know it, numbering like "1, 2, 3…" won't work because file number 11 will immediately follow the one numbered one, so the first one should be at least 01 (or maybe 001 or 0001) - so it will be easier for you to figure out what to mount for what. Remember that in addition to After Effect, which will “merge” the individual components into the desired final perfection, Photoshop is absolutely necessary. Or rather, not he himself, but his applications that will contact him. On the other hand, you can use any other editing program, there are an unimaginable number of them now, so you can choose the one that suits your taste.
Facilitation of the process
Progress, as you know, does not stand still. And all his new achievements are aimed at facilitating our efforts to obtain a certain result. Including - and to the easy, affordable creation of high-quality memos. With regard to photography and film history, GoPro has recently come to the rescue of amateurs. No one has ever been able to make the work of photographers and cameramen so much easier.
Sometimes it's a shame: people sometimes spend years trying toto become cinematographers, while even a child can shoot time-lapse on a GoPro. Moreover, this camera does not need to be protected from rain, it does not require special muscles to carry (because it is light) and professional skills and knowledge to use, as it is easy to operate. True, equipment of this class costs a lot - from 11 and a half thousand (thank God, in rubles) the simplest version to almost 17 thousand in the "advanced" version. With additional bells and whistles, the price will, perhaps, be up to 30 thousand - and in a budget version. But if you want to get a quality time-lapse, this is not an obstacle, is it?