Last night I set out to take pictures of some fireworks for the 4th of July celebration. Once the sun finally set however, I found myself turning my camera towards a much more spectacular light show brought on by mother nature.
I took this image at Skyventure Arizona, a facility designed for skydivers to practice free-fall maneuvers. Canon 7D / Lens 18-55 / Manual Mode / Exposure time 20 seconds / ISO 200 / F3.5 / WB Fluorescent
For those of you who watched my time lapse experiments and wondered how I did it, here are some things I learned so far that I would like to share with you.
First you will need to get comfortable shooting images in “M” or manual mode. If you allow the camera to make any auto adjustments, you will encounter flickering when you put the movie together. Next, you will need to invest in an intervalometer. This little gadget plugs into the camera and allows you to take pictures periodically (ex. every 4 seconds). Once you have taken your set of images, you will need to compile them into a movie using software like Quicktime Pro or After Effects.
There are many more toys that allow you to add another dimension to this style of photography. For example a bulb-ramping intervalometer will allow you to time laps a scene in varying light conditions such as day to night. Cranes and dollies can ad movement, when combined with the right set of motion controls.
Since I currently don’t have the budget to purchase one of these cranes, here is another test I did using my iPhone 4. I downloaded a time lapse app from the apple store, gaffers taped my phone to an egg timer, and set it all up on a tripod in the desert. Since the egg timer makes a 360 degree rotation in one hour, I though that it would be just the right speed for the movie.