Thursday, October 28, 2010

Crab Apple Autumn Fire Colour Wheel Time Lapse

I've not shown you the original photos of this sculpture, I've been keeping some back for books and prints. But the day after I made and photographed this (it is bigger than you can see here, this is just the centre) I set it up to do a long time lapse.

The circles in the middle are all from the same Crab Apple tree as are the leaves surrounding. They had already started fading and were brighter yellow than this the day before.

This was going to take a couple of weeks so I couldn't use my SLR to do the time lapse, as I would need it to photograph anything else that I made, so instead I used my compact. It was quite limiting and I couldn't control it like I can my main camera.

It will only take 100 pictures in a batch and zooms and autofocusses for every shot. This meant many of the frames were out of focus, each batch of 100 were cropped differently and with several batches the camera had zoomed out completely. Along with this when I kicked off another set the camera would move a tiny amount making more frames misaligned.

This meant many, many hours of post processing attempting to crop the photos to the same size with the circle centred in the same place. It was incredibly difficult to do as I had to do each frame by eye. As you can see there is quite a lot of jerking about but this is the best I could do with the time I had. At least before my head exploded.

Also, sometimes, a batch would finish in the middle of the night or while I was out and so there would be big gaps between starting shooting again, meaning obvious jumps in the decay. Coupled with the blurry frames I had to take out I am surprised I managed to complete what I did.

And finally there is the funny, grey, blurry edge Flickr has added to the left hand side! Quite apt after all the trials and tribulations I've had with this, but seeing as you can't go back and correct the mistakes and each sculpture I make is a 100% one-off, then this is what it is.

The sculpture itself and all the things I had to do to make this film are what you see, it cannot be faked. What you see is what you get.


Dave said...

Hi Richard,

That is exactly the same issue I had when I tried to capture the decay of a bunch of pink roses. Such a simple task you would think - but boy did it test my patience. I took over 500 shots and could only use about a 3rd of them to make my time lapse movie!!!

Great video though - I will have to send you through my attempt!.


Richard Shilling said...

Hi Dave,

Ha ha, yes! They are a right pain aren't they? I've got another on the go now this time with a prime lens. Swapped one set of problems for another now. Although I've got it set up for unlimited pictures now I am having to use an external flash and once the batteries are on the turn, it doesn't charge up quick enough for the timer to trigger. Have to keep an eye on it to switch the batteries over. Trouble is the batteries last ten hours but take 12 to charge and I only have two sets. All I can do is marvel at the BBC, 2 year time lapse I saw, what with moving cameras too. One day eh?!

Love to see your version and I want to read your dissertation too, so send 'em over when you have a mo.