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Playing with the D300 Time Lapse function

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by mr2monster, Aug 12, 2008.

  1. mr2monster


    Jun 29, 2007
    Mmmmm... I can see a lot of fun coming out of this.

    I went out this morning because I couldn't sleep. I couldn't find anything to shoot, but the sunrise looked to be promising.

    I've used the D300 for about everything you can think of at this point, except time lapse, so I figured I'd give it a go.

    check out the finished product here:

    Not a bad way to kill 5 hours :tongue:

    I think that I'll be doing much much more of this.

    tell me what you think. :) 
  2. James

    That is quite fantastic, thanks for sharing. I thought the video and soundtrack was excellent.

    Any chance of explaining how it was done ?


  3. mr2monster


    Jun 29, 2007
    Thank you:) 

    Simple actually (if you have a D300 anyway).

    Basically there is a menu function on the D300 that allows you to set up the camera to take X pictures at Y intervals (so, 1 pic every 10 seconds, or 2 pics every 5 seconds, etc.)

    So, you set your D300 up on a tripod and point it in the direction of something that might look cool over an extended period of time.. something like a sunrise, a snail, star trails, etc.

    Then you hit go on the back of the D300 and let 'er rip.

    Once you have all of the photos, you just import them into a movie program like Windows Movie Maker and arrange them all by name, set the duration to the shortest possibly (.125 sec) and drop all of the photos onto the time line.

    That about covers it.

    I had to do that for 4 different clips, then make the movies. Then re-import the separate movies to get them to blend together like that. then I just popped on some music by a band named Copeland and called it a day.
  4. mr2monster


    Jun 29, 2007
    I should note that if you don't have a D300, you can do this a few ways.

    1. You can stand there and push the shutter.

    2. You can buy a control box that releases the shutter at given intervals.

    * If you have a D70, somewhere out there, there is a program that will turn your palm pilot into an IR remote release with a time lapse function. You just have to keep the palm pointed at the camera.

    I'm not sure about the other cameras... but there's plenty of info on Google.
  5. Lurker


    Jul 21, 2007
    The better P&S cameras have TL functionality as well. Phil's website allows you to search for Timelapse in the database. Preferably you'd want a model with manual exposure mode for it. Image quality is in movies less important (a 640x480 video is already quite large) and you don't have to worry about wearing out an electronic shutter...
  6. Zee71


    Apr 1, 2007
    Queens, NY
    Thanks for sharing! I really enjoyed the video and the music. Looking forward to the next video.
  7. Put down the phone!

    Nice work. I love doing timelapse stuff.
  8. mr2monster


    Jun 29, 2007
    Haha... you're number 3 that's called me out on that now... :tongue:

    I think I'm going to do some star trail stuff tonight, and maybe one of me sleeping to see how much i roll around.

    So many possibilities....
  9. James

    Thanks for explaining. At times I can't believe I'm so stupid as to not think of these things. I do have a D300 and use it in exactly this way all of the time, e.g. when shooting a bracketed burst of 5 shots I use this function but never thought of applying it in this way.

    I can see a lot of fun doing this. Thanks you again for giving me a new idea.

    Can I ask, typically how many shots would you take and over what kind of time periods ?

    You'll be shooting jpeg, right ? and surely not PP'ing all of those shots ?

    Looking forward to the next video.
  10. mr2monster


    Jun 29, 2007
    I just do some math before hand to come out where I need to be...

    i.e. If I want a 15 second video of a sunrise at 30 frames per second I just multiply 15X30 and get 450 total frames in a 15 second video clip.

    I then decide over what time period i want (so, let's say a sunrise is about 45 minutes...) I take 45 min and cut that up into seconds (45X60=2700 seconds).

    Then take the event time (2700 seconds) and divide it by the number of shots 450 and come out to one shot every 6 seconds. Then i just set up the camera to pop off one shot every 6 seconds for 450 frames and I end up with the footage I want.

    Also, I shoot in .jpg, Small, on Fine (although, i might change to Basic to keep file sizes lower).

    It's addicting, that's for sure. I can't focus on anything else today because my mind is just dreaming about all the cool shots I can do with this....
  11. Very cool! Thanks for sharing.

    How did you mount the camera in the car? It seemed there was no vibrations or anything.
  12. mr2monster


    Jun 29, 2007

    I actually just put it on a tripod in the cargo area of my Xterra and drove around... I was surprised at how smooth it came out too.

    i didn't anchor it down or anything.... i just opened up the legs on the tripod as wide as they'd go. :cool: 
  13. babaman001


    Jul 26, 2008
    Very nice James, what a way to kill time. How did you mount the camera in your car?

    I wish my D50 has the time lapse function built-in. I guess I'll have to upgrade to a D200 / D300 for this in the future hehe..
  14. mr2monster


    Jun 29, 2007
    I just set it on a tripod. I didn't weight it down or secure it in any way at all.. just stuck it in the cargo area on my Xterra.
  15. timzilla

    timzilla Guest

    thanks for sharing!

    It'd be hard for me to do those camera shots u got though cause I'm not a smooth driver, lol
  16. Now that I saw this James I want to try it too. FIRST I have to buy a reliable tripod.

    Did you see this one? http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=vH3cl0rF3O4

    They speak of a 'MILapse method'. From what I can find it is a motor run tripod head???

  17. mr2monster


    Jun 29, 2007

    Yeah, the MILapse method uses a tripod from a computerized telescope or other motorized head and is able to shoot panning and tilting shots.

    I did my pans by hand... and it was hard, and it came out like crap. haha...

    Now I'm looking for a telescope head. :tongue:
  18. mr2monster


    Jun 29, 2007
    Oh believe me.... I am by no means a smooth driver. hahaha... I just have a good tripod?
  19. This fascinates me and wanting to learn more about it and of course try it. First I need a new stable tripod. But I am interested in the camera settings used. I read (see link below) you turn off auto focus and focus manually and also set the exposure manually. So would you set the exposure for the scene as it begins and leave it there? Light can change in seconds/minutes but I'm thinking specifically in an instance like from the following site where he/she has a 12 hour time frame on one of them. http://www.cybergooch.com/tutorials/pages/timelapse.htm

  20. You rock James! A very cool innovative idea that also shows your passion to photography.
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