PetaPixel

Shooting a Seasonal Time-Lapse, From Enclosure to Exposure

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

How to make a long term time-lapse [Instructables via PictureCorrect]


 
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  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1312995208 Christian DeBaun

    So when do we get to see the results? ;-)

  • Kestas Z

    maybe when there will be no more thieves, too much curious people, etc…

  • PICKANAME

    Please do not touch….people will just touch it because you say so. lol
    wonder will the tree grow and spoil the result..

  • Mansgame

    I think one cool side effect would be that the tree is growing during this time in a smooth fashion so even if it’s an inch in the entire year, it will be noticeable like those motion dollies they use.

  • Mansgame

    I think the growth will make it more pleasing to be honest. They sell tools for timelapse (very expensive too) to add a little motion.

  • http://www.facebook.com/carin.basson Carin Basson

    Trees grow from the top, not the bottom, so it won’t move up, but it might move side-to-side from wind or similar. If he left it for years and years it might get embedded into the bark.

  • 23424234

    finders keppers.-.. that´s what i say..

  • Mansgame

    If it was a 5DII or III I’d say yes, but this old thing is not worth keeping.

  • Yoda

    The thing is, you should somehow program it (or or access it remotely) to take more photos during periods of temperature change. That way you’ll have smoother transitions.

  • http://www.facebook.com/forrest.pound Forrest Pound

    While there wasn’t any motion in the finished time lapse (because we chose frames from the same time of day everyday), we did encounter daily temperature fluctuations which swelled and shrunk the ground slightly. Each day, the frame would move back and forth slightly. Very curious- and a little nauseating to look at…