View Full Version : I had a great idea - well I though so - time lapse

16th January 2009, 08:23 PM
Earlier today I was cursing the web waiting for my working week to finish and I came across Tom Hogarty's Site Tom Hogarty (http://tomhogarty.com/) - I loved the idea of trying some time lapse photography - I think it would be great on holiday slideshows. But how??. One of the little used features of 10.4 was automator - well I barely use it. But it got me thinking if we could use automator to help us do some time lapse YES YOU CAN. I have created(which Im going to sure with you) 2 very basic automator work flows. The first uses image capture to take the image and then dump the file into your pictures folders - pretty simple huh???

The second one uses image capture to take the file, the uses an aperture import to import the image into a new aperture project called "Time Lapse" it then set what ever metadata you tell it to.

Ok so the workflows were really very simple but it only runs once - a little googling and I found a free automator loop utility. Just drop any automator workflow on the loop utility and save the newly created app somewhere you can find it again. When ever you open your new automator app it will ask you to set the idle time - which is the time between shoots for these. The minimum time is 30 seconds, but anything from 30 seconds above and your good to go.

So people get out at sunrise/sunset with your camera, tripod and macbooks and try this, we came upload the short videos to flickr so add them to the group.

ok so if you go to .Mac - iDisk (http://public.me.com/warnockimagery) you will see a tethered shooting work flow zip file. It contains the app for dumpping the files to your pictures folder ready to go, just set your timing, it also has aperture time lapse work flow so you can open it and add your metadata ect and save. Once you have altered it simple drop on the loop utility - that too is in the zip file and your ready to connect and shoot.

The one requirement here is that your camera is support by image capture tethered shooting features. there is a list here -http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1085, I believe though if your not on the list if you have a canon you can install the EOS utility to enable the feature or a Nikon install Nikon Capture

I have tested with my d300 seems to work great

16th January 2009, 08:43 PM
I have started to experiment with these - there is a good forum and a few examples at Timescapes (http://www.timescapes.org). ( I think the one on the frontpage is amazing)

I have done a few simple ones (driving with the camera mounted to the passengers seat, a bbq with mates) using an old canon p+s that i picked up cheap on ebay and the CHDK firmware.

I have also used the nikon capture SW with my d80, which works ok but obviously requires a laptop tethered to the camera. I wasnt really happy with the quality of the canon so have invested in a timer remote for the d80 - about $70 on ebay, which i am waiting to arrive.

I just take the 900 or so images off the card, put it in a folder and use quicktime pro to "open image sequence" and go with about 30fps or so. (900 images @ 30fps = 30 second video)

Some people are doing some crazy stuff with timelapses - have a look at this guys videos:
Andrew Curtis on Vimeo (http://www.vimeo.com/ac)

He has rigged up one of those motorised telescope mounts to pan whilst the camera is exposing, as well as some sort of drive to alter the lens aperture during the pan. Pretty amazing stuff, especially the carnival video.

I am moving to the country later this month and hope to do some star scape ones. Lots of fun, but being tethered to a laptop just wont work for me in this situation!