Time lapse is a term used to refer to a technique of taking numerous photo images of a subject over a span of time using a time lapse camera, before processing the images in quick sequence so that it can play as a movie. Time-lapse is in fact the opposite of slow motion; it has a way of slowing the world for the photographer.
With a time lapse camera, a photographer can capture a number of photos of the same object and play them back in succession in a shorter time. Apart from looking beautiful, it can also tell an interesting story.
The following guidelines can help you in time-lapse photography:
Find a good camera with interlude recording
Presently there are several camcorders that are capable of changing the rate of recording. You do what is referred to as “under-cranking” when you are shooting a time lapse. This term was coined at the time film cameras were hand-cranked. The Panasonic HVX200 is among those cameras recommended. It is a fully digital video camera which largely helped in revolutionizing the way in which video media was captured. The frame rate in the menu can be changed with this time lapse camera in order to take a single frame that can vary between once every 16 minutes and once every 10 minutes. This method can work very well for short-time lapses. However, you need to have a power source for the time-lapse camera because you can easily lose the whole sequence if you lose power even briefly. The length of the time-lapses should not exceed the length of battery life. Digital still cameras should be used for longer time lapses like growing plants.
One of the best ways to shoot time-lapses is to hook up a remote trigger on a digital SLR. For instance, a Canon 5D Mark III can be hooked up with a corresponding Canon Remote.
Point and Shoot Cameras
There are a number of point-and-shoot cameras on the market currently equipped with interval meters that simplify the process by counting the intervals for you. However, it will be necessary for you to acquaint yourself with manipulating the manual functions of the camera.
The Canon SD4000 time lapse camera is recommended. This compact camera with a built-in interval meter shoots HD video.
You may not believe it, but you can take a nice time-lapse using a simple desktop web camera instead of a time lapse camera. Probably classroom teachers may fancy this setup. For instance, you can time-lapse a plant on the desk adjacent to your computer or do claymations using a program such as Boinx iStopMotion. This program enables you to plug in various cameras into your computer program and program them.