Time lapse photography is a way of shrinking a period of time into a shorter video made of just still pictures. Basically, it has two parts: Taking the pictures and then turning them into a time lapse video. In this tutorial, you will see how to start and take the time lapse pictures. The latter will be explained in the following tutorial.
Before we begin, make sure you have the following equipment ready: Your camera, a tripod, any MIOPS trigger and finally a clock. We will make the video of a melting candle.
Basics of Time Lapse Photography
The idea of time lapse photography is displaying a long event in a much shorter time. In order to do that you need to take the pictures of the event through the whole process. There is a critical point. You need to take pictures with the same interval between each other to capture a smooth progress. If you take the pictures just randomly, it will be hard to follow. In other words, you will need an automated way of taking the pictures with a perfect timing. For this purpose, we will use a MIOPS trigger. MIOPS Smart, Mobile Remote and Mobile Dongle, they can all do that.
How to set up the time lapse mode on MIOPS?
In this tutorial, we will use the most basic time lapse mode. There will only three parameters to set. These are the interval, the frame number and the exposure. To make it simple we will set the exposure value on the camera, so you can set the exposure parameter on MIOPS to zero. You just need to set the interval and the frame number. We will do some basic calculations to find out these values. Let’s see how to find those numbers?
Every video is actually a series of still pictures. Each picture has very little difference from the previous one. When they are displayed sequentially, the human eye sees them as a smoothly changing video. How fast should be that playing? This is given in fps, frame per second. Anything above 24/25fps is just fine for the human eye. In other words, for every second of a video you will need 25 frames. If you want to create a 10 second video, you will need 250 frames. For this tutorial let’s go through this example and create a video of 10 seconds, so we will need 250 frames in total. Now, we know that the frame parameter must be 250. We can find the interval parameter by dividing the duration of the event to the frame number. We want to record the clock for 10 minutes. Ten minutes is 600 seconds in total. With a simple calculation the interval must be 600/250, which is roughly 2,4 seconds. This is our interval parameter. We have everything to set up the time lapse mode.
How to setup the camera and object?
A tripod is must for the basic time lapse video. You need to have the same frame for all of the pictures. Put your camera on a well balanced tripod. Set your camera to manual focus. Adjust the exposure of the camera manually. Usually an exposure of about 1 sec. will result in smoother transition between the frames. You may need to control the light as well to avoid overexposed pictures. Also set the ISO to the minimum. We will be taking a lot of pictures, so you better select the JPEG file format.
How to connect the MIOPS?
Depending on which MIOPS you are using, make the connection to the camera. Set up the calculated parameters on the time lapse mode and start it from the MIOPS app on your smartphone. Now, you can sit back and enjoy the ten minutes as MIOPS is taking all the pictures for you. In our next tutorial, we will explain how to turn all these pictures into a time lapse video.
Related Article: 10 Things You Can Do with a Camera Trigger