Clouds 8/18/13 Timelapse

Okay, finally a proper timelapse!  I’ve used a number of cameras in my career. I’ve rented and borrowed equipment according to what was needed for a shoot. When I made the transition to DSLR, I decided not to shell out incredible amounts of money on a body and focus on getting good glass and other things I would need to make the transition. The Canon T4i came out at that very time.  After weighing the pros and cons of a more “entry-level” camera vs. a more “professional” one, I opted to rely on my skill rather than hope that the extra features I would pay for in the higher end would magically add production value. I am a firm believer that it isn’t about the equipment at all as much as it is your vision and figuring out how to achieve it with what you have. That said, there was a lot of buzz about a firmware for Canon cameras called Magic Lantern that overrides Canon’s stock firmware (actually working hand in hand with it) to access settings and features that the camera is capable of, but Canon has decided to lock out.  For the past year, nearly every Canon DSLR camera has had a version of Magic Lantern come out for it. Until just a few weeks ago, the T4i still didn’t have anything remotely stable. A lot has to do with the touch screen that wasn’t on previous models. Magic Lantern is still in Alpha stages for the T4i (650d outside of the U.S.), but there are already great advancements in the nightly builds!

That brings me to this timelapse. One of the features I was most excited to try out was the intervalometer.  To purchase an external one would cost me a good chunk of change for something I don’t really need. Basically, the intervalometer allows you to set your camera to take pictures at whatever interval you choose for however long you choose. You then take the stills that it shoots and play them each as a frame in a video sequence to create a timelapse. The easy way to do this in video is to just film for an hour or two and speed up the footage. You get nice, smooth video, but your image is restricted to a 1080 size (1920×1080 pixels). With shooting stills on my T4i, for example, each image is 18 megapixels (5184×3456). That means a lot more detail is in the image which I can move crop, resize, and move around in my 1080 video.

After weeks of cloudless skies, I finally spotted an amazing cloud formation on a drive and quickly raced home to set up my camera and test out Magic Lantern’s intervalometer.  I set it to take one photo ever 5 seconds and left it for just over 2 hours. The result was 1,450 still images which, when played back at 24 frames a second, came out to the 1 minute video above.  If you’d like to check out a single frame of my timelapse without cropping or color correction, CLICK HERE (*WARNING: LARGE FILE*).  Of course, the final version is above.  Just a really cool bunch of clouds coming and going on a sunny August  afternoon in Southern California. Enjoy!!!

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About Jason Frerking

Husband, father, filmmaker, musician, friend.

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