Monday, 5 October 2015

Kim Ayres - Time Lapse at Spring Fling

Spring Fling is an open studio event where 90+ artists and makers throw their doors open to the public across the last weekend of May.

Throughout this year's Spring Fling I was doing photography demonstrations - showing how changing the light can dramatically alter the mood of an image. My own studio wasn't big enough for this, so I fortunate to be able to use St Johns in Castle Douglas - an old church that's been renovated as a space to hold events.

Demonstrating light with Maria 

The day before, it suddenly occurred to me it might be fun to have a go at some time lapse photography - something I'd not tried before.

Time lapse is where photography and video collide. In essence you take hundreds of photos and string them all together in sequence. It requires a camera, a tripod, an interval timer (built in to some modern cameras, or bought as an accessory), and a computer programme to edit the images together afterwards.

I was using my own camera to do the photography lighting demonstrations (actually my own camera was being repaired and my friend, Andy Jardine had lent me his in the meantime), but fellow GPC member, Allan Wright handed me his Nikon for the weekend (along with an instruction manual, as I'm used to Canons), which has a built in interval timer.

It didn't take much fiddling about to get the hang of it, and once I'd done it the first time it was very straightforward. Set the camera to manual and sit it on a tripod; compose the image how you would like it; set the shutter speed, aperture and ISO to get the exposure settings you want; input the number of photos you want it to take for that sequence; and input the interval time between shots.

The first shoot I did, I set it to go every 10 seconds at 1/50th of a second. I was quite pleased with it, although it didn't feel as fluid as I thought it might. Overnight it came to me I should slow the shutter speed to get a bit of movement blur, and take the shots more frequently - so from then on I set the interval for every 3 seconds at 1/3 of a second. I was delighted with the result and did several more sequences across the weekend - including one of me and my son taking down the set on the Monday evening.

I put the following video together pretty straightforwardly. The first sequence is the one that went every 10 seconds. I then took a section of that and zoomed in on the light through the window travelling across the floor, which I quite liked. The rest is the 3 second interval sequences, with movement blur, and the whole lot was rendered and exported to play at 12 frames per second. The music is from the band I'm in, The Cracked Man

I'd recommend giving it a go - it's really not as difficult as you think it is.

Kim Ayres

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