Time-lapse p.2

idea & calculations
the idea is a lot, but anticipation and planning is key to success

When planning a time-lapse of a phenomenon with a specific time course, we need to know well in advance when to start and when to stop shooting. Before that, the camera has to be in the right place, precisely set, and the picture composed with the smallest details in mind. This applies in particular to phenomena in which key objects move within the frame.
Let's assume that we plan to capture a phenomenon lasting about one hour - let's assume it will be a sunset over a picturesque lake. The plan must include a check on how the ecliptic (the track of apparent movement of the solar disk through the sky) runs in the place of interest at the given time of the year. We set the camera taking into account its movement throughout the duration of the shooting.
We must remember that the preparations themselves also take time, so we should act well in advance. So if we are photographing phenomena whose course is independent of us, we would do best in the same way as landscape photographers do: we should appear at the spot earlier, preferably observe the course of what we want to photograph (obviously only if the phenomenon has recurrent character) for several days preceding the session. All this may sound complicated, but it really is the very essence of photography - and not even the type of time-lapse, but photography in general. It is just that the image we want to capture on the film was in our head long before the first shot.

few calculations to start with

How can such calculations look like? Let us assume that we want to film an hour-long phenomenon and show it on a 10-second film. The film should be very smooth, so it should have 50 frames per second (another popular standard is, for example, 25 frames per second). Conclusion is plane to see - the 10-second clip will consist of 500 frames. Now we only have to divide the hour (60 minutes or 3600 seconds) by this value and get the final result - the photos should be taken in seven-second intervals, and on the memory card must fit over 3.5 thousand of them. Accordingly big must be a memory card. We should take into account the speed of filling the memory buffer, especially when we register in a format that gives large files, i.e. RAW. If the intervals between individual frames are shorter than the operating speed of the buffer, a blockage will occur. This is of course the extreme case typical for older cameras. Nevertheless, it should be foreseen. The efficiency of the power source should also be evaluated. If we only make about 1000 photos off one battery - the project will fail. Application - use the mains supply. We do not always have access to it in the field. Not every camera has a power outlet. The logistics.

what is necessary and what is useful

Contrary to appearances, photographic equipment required for this type of photography is not too complicated. The must have is of course a camera with
a tripod, which must be stiff and solid. Equally important is ... an electronic trigger cable sometimes called a cable trigger. The “snake” itself is also a device, without which a successful time-lapse can be shot in principle only theoretically (try to press the shutter button so that you do not move the camera at least once), but in practice it is only for simple or very extended in time tasks, such as one frame per hour. The problem is definitely solved by a camera equipped with a function (software) that allows shooting at set intervals of time. Such a gadget is a great, necessary and fortunately an increasingly popular tool.
Is that all? No, if we think about really advanced productions using various camera movements - such as panning, transfocation or drive. However, this is  very specialized and above all costly equipment.

See you soon.
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