Life Is A Road Trip

The Amazing Adventures of a Zoobroker and a Sentiographer

Time Lapse on the Road

on the road, technologyMatt Hill1 Comment

Fictitious people have not asked us how we make the time-lapse movies of our driving time. Well, since you didn’t ask – we’ll share! (OK, really, the folks we’ve met while on our travels have seen them and they did ask...) Day 1: Nikon D700 with MC-32 MC-36 (thanks, Gabe!) Remote Release set to 0:18 second intervals and jpg quality. I set up the tripod in the back seat and zoomed out to 120mm to shoot through our windshield. Fortunately, this was also the day we willed nealry 8,000 inects with the Hyundai.

Back in the hotel after dinner, I imported them into iStopMotion in NTSC space (could have gone HD... but naw) at 4 frames per second. Export, upload to Vimeo and share!

Day 2: Somewhere along the way, we realized the JPG quality was set to large – not necessary. Made the import the night before much too long. So, now set to the smallest jpg, we could record 7,500 image if we wanted. What do we do? Increase the frequency, of course. So, at an interval of 0:05 seconds, we captured throughout the day... Until both batteries on the D700 died (I forgot to turn off the one setting on the body that told it not to engage the autofocus – the lens was on manual focus). Canon G9 to the rescue! Popped that bad boy on a tripod in front of me in the front seat on Time lapse movie mode and 1 second intervals and that got us all the way into Rapid City.

Processing was interesting. Same deal as yesterday, but with 4,500 images from the Nikon – import and export at 15 frames a second this time. Now import this file into Final Cut Pro HD in NTSC space, plus the four movie clips form the Canon. Put ‘em all in the timeline, hit export and head out for some night shooting. Came back later, uploaded to Vimeo, let that process overnight (upload too 24 minutes), and embed here on the site this morning.

Day 3 (Today): Figured that it was far easier to record a movie file instead of thousands of little JPGs. So, we are running the G9 all day. First half battery ran out twice (forgot to charge it last night, and a 25 minute charge at lunch did not cut it). So we bought an AC 100V invertors and ran the Nikon again in the middle fo the day on 0:10 second intervals, and now back to the Canon at 2 second intervals.

We’re rolling through Sheridan, Wyoming right now on Interstate 90 and I’m typing this up so we can have more fun time tonight instead of blogging time. :) What a beautiful Sunset.


6:21 PM mountain time