after aquiring my Nikon D2x about two years ago, I started experimenting
with its intervalometer feature. The intervalometer allows me to
program the camera to automatically take a series of photographs
(up to 999) spaced out by an interval of my choosing. The D2x also
lets me choose the starting time, so I can set up a camera ahead
of time and it will start taking shots at a predetermined time.
always been fascinated with clips in movies and documentaries that
show dramatic clouds streaming across the sky in fast motion. The
compression of time makes it possible to see clouds changing in
unexpected or previously unnoticed ways. It's possible to make sequences
like these with the D2x and slideshow software.
are the basic steps:
Set up the camera on a sturdy tripod and aim it in the direction
Set up the intervalometer feature to take a certain number of photos
at a certain interval. I often take 100 to 300 photos spaced out
at 20 second intervals. I usually set the camera to low resolution
and basic quality to save space. Quality of image is not critical
when each frame is only on the screen for a small fraction of a
Let the camera start shooting. I often monitor the exposures and
make slight adjustments as the sequence progresses. It's possible
but tricky to do pans and zooms during the sequence. A mechanized
head would help in this regard. Be careful not to bump the legs
of the tripod when making adjustments.
Upload the photos into a program capable of playing back slides
with a very short duration. Windows Movie Maker works but doesn't
play back fast enough for me (about 8 frames per second as I recall).
I use Photodex Proshow (www.photodex.com).
It allows me to set the slide duration to about 1/20th of a second.
Export the slideshow in your chosen format. I can get smooth playback
of shows up to 1024x768 on my Athlon 3400-based system. The slideshows
below are Flash-based shows created by Proshow Producer v3.0.
course, there are a multitude of uses for this technique. Tim Burton's
recent feature-length animated movie "Corpse Bride" was
shot entirely with Canon DSLRs using stop-motion animation techniques.
Time lapse photography is also great for showing even longer periods
of time than my examples show, for instance, the opening of a flower
bud. Another classic subject for time lapse photography is city
out the following links for more information on this interesting
Lapse Tutorial (shows how to do it with QuickTime)
(On Wikipedia, great overview of topic with more links)