Shooting a seasonal time-lapse poses several challenges. You have to figure out how to power the camera for a very long time, how to protect it from the elements, how to make sure nobody messes with it, and how to run your set-up for months without needing to check on it very often.
Fortunately, if you’re interested in making your own long-term time-lapse, the people of Kontent Films have put together a step-by-step tutorial on Instructables that covers all the bases — from building the enclosure to shooting the (many thousand) exposures.
To build their rig you’ll need a camera, a memory card, an intervalometer, a battery, a dummy battery, a case, a battery case, a voltage converter, a mounting plate, a 20 Amp fuse and some DIY know-how.
They chose to use an RV battery, but a car battery should work just as well. Just make sure that the battery you choose is meant to deliver a small amount of voltage over a long period of time rather than visa versa. A starter battery would be an example of a battery you would not want to use.
You then connect everything together using the voltage converter (cameras use about 7v DC, car batteries dole out about 12), pack everything in its respective case, and attached the setup to a tree or rock using the mounting bracket.
If you don’t feel comfortable using screws on the tree that volunteers as your multi-month monopod, a more eco-friendly alternative might be to use some cargo straps or bungee cords to secure both boxes.
Finally, in hopes that it may detract any park rangers, tourists or locals from messing with the box, they attached the “please leave me alone” card you see below.
And that’s it! You’re ready to shoot a multi-month time-lapse without running out of juice, exposing your camera to the elements, or having a park-goer tear it down without so much as a courtesy call to you first.
Here’s a sample video showing the type of time-lapse you can create this way:
Obviously we didn’t go into as much detail as you may need to put the rig together yourself, so head over to Instructables for a more comprehensive step-by-step and links to all of the materials.