Time Lapse - part 1 of 1 2

by Mike McNamee Published 01/12/2012


Although it might seem a little tame after spending time whizzing helicopters all over the sky, time lapse photography has improved and become more commonly used in filming - typified by the BBC wildlife and location imaging, they often splice a time lapse into their features.

Although time lapse has been used since the days of film, when a special 250 frame back was available for a Nikon F camera, digital has transformed the creative landscape. With a GoPro camera or say a Nikon D800, making a time lapse is trivially simple. An additional refinement, though, is to put the camera on a slow-moving trolley and move the camera sideways (or in any direction in fact) very slowly for the duration of the time lapse. The slow change of view point simply adds more visual interest to the tide flowing in and out or the clouds scudding across the sky (why is it always tides?).

Obviously time lapse is a moving media so we cannot show you any examples in print. At the time of writing, the transport of the space shuttle Endeavour across Los Angeles was one of the more spectacular on the web so take a look at:

From a business point of view companies are starting to take note of the time lapse that they see on their televisions and asking for commercial photographers to provide one for them - it is yet another example of a revenue stream that new technology has opened. Again the possibilities are endless; because wedding photographers can provide both slide shows (an more recently 'fusion') as part of their package leaving a GoPro on a tripod overlooking the pews of a church (perhaps from the choir stall) as it slowly fills up with guests makes an interesting (and arresting) addition to a show, at very low additional cost.


Although it is not an area in which Professional Imagemaker has much experience we did spend a day marooned on Hilbre Island, off the Wirral, during which Paul McMullin made a tidal time lapse on his D800 and Ron Thomas tried out a number of his own gadgets including a time lapse which culminated in the tide flooding over his GoPro. The only professional motion control kit we have seen is that made by Ditogear ( but there is a discussion of the topic at which includes both gear and comment. Other than that you're on your own but you could talk to Ron at the Convention.

BVE North

Under normal circumstances, and certainly at first glance, this is not a show for the majority of Imagemaker readers. However, this misses the point slightly; it always pays to keep a weather eye on industries parallel to your own activity. It is similar in concept this to the tactic Jerry Ghionis speaks of in his feature in this issue (ie try a different thing each wedding or situation just to try something different and hopefully surprise yourself ). For the photographer the 'different' shows that you might go to are Spring Fair, any art gallery launch, The Gadget Show, Rutland Bird Fair, IPEX; the list is quite long, but certainly not endless.

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1st Published 01/12/2012
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