92 RANGEFINDER SEPTEMBER 2014
GET A SMOOTH-RIDE SLIDER
Straightforward time-lapse videos are
shot from a static position without
moving the camera. However, if you’ve
checked out some of the incredible time-lapse videos online, you’ll see that the
best ones have the camera move while
the images are being captured.
In order to achieve this almost-3D effect, you’ll need a slider, which lets you
move the camera smoothly along the
rails. This can be done manually by moving the camera a short distance between
each exposure. If you want to leave the
camera unattended, however, the slider
will obviously need to be motorized.
I tried out a Varavon slider with the
optional Motorroid kit, which can move
the camera at a predetermined speed
from 10 seconds to a few minutes. You’ll
probably want the time to be longer
than this, in which case the optional
Timeroid kit is more appropriate as it
can be set to move the camera a short,
pre-set distance between each shot.
Sliders can be mounted on a flat sur-
face or on a tripod. If they are motorized,
A simple, lightweight slider for a com-
pact camera can start as low as $100,
while a motorized slider such as the
Varavon with the Motorroid kit starts
at around $700, depending on length.
PUTTING IT TOGETHER
Once you’ve got all the images, you can
create the clip using any number of programs including Lightroom, iMovie, Final
Cut Pro or even some free open-source
programs. The clips can then be added to
a slide show or included in an Animoto
presentation just like a regular video clip. If
you own a Mac, you can even use the built-in camera to create a simple time-lapse
using a free program called Gawker.
While anyone can create a time-lapse
video, it takes a critical eye and the
ability to imagine what will happen over
time to put together an eye-catching clip.
Of course, once it’s assembled, you’ll
want to add some titles and music just as
you would with any regular video clip.
Practice and experiment—it’s time worth
spending if you feel the addition can help
set you apart as a hireable wedding
Time-lapse photography is especially
effective with landscapes, as it hastens
the passage of time showing clouds,
lights going on and off, or even traffic moving and day turning rapidly to
night. They can be inspirational clips.
Time-lapse clips of a wedding can also
be effective as you witness how some
guests don’t move a lot while others
might appear to be “on the go” all the
time. Sometimes they end up being
humorous and may even remind you of
old Benny Hill slapstick comedy skits!
There are innumerable city and landscape
time-lapses posted online. I’ve checked
out many, including the “ 50 top timelapse
videos of 2013” ( bit.ly/Ur6WHR), but one
that really caught my eye a few months
ago and inspired me to think about doing
something similar is City Lights (vimeo.
com/80629469) by Colin Rich.
Above: iMovie is just one of the numerous programs that can be used to create
a time-lapse video from a series of still images. Middle: There are numerous blogs and
websites with hints and tips on time-lapse
photography. One of the most comprehensive
is learntimelapse.com. Bottom: One example
of a third-party intervalometer is the ioShutter
( ioshutter.com) that uses a smartphone app
as its interface.
getting started on time-lapse