No. I am not referring to the eternity between my updates here. The title of this post refers to the photographic technique of taking a sequence of frames at set intervals to record changes that take place slowly over time. When the frames are shown at normal speed, or in quick succession, the action seems much faster.
It is a technique which has fascinated me and I have aspired to master it with the limited equipment available to me. I have yet to attempt anything like this with the Nikon, usually because of weather or location issues. A couple of GoPro3 cameras do the job fairly well in most environments. Here I have laid out a few tips and tools for anyone else out there wanting to make some cool time-lapse shots with their GoPro.
If you’re out there making movies with a GoPro you know already the Achilles heel for these little cameras is the battery capacity. As a matter of fact it is the single most lamented feature in nearly every review out there. There is a battery pack option available from GoPro, but I was determined to find an even better solution. I have long been a supporter of the Green movement and alternative energies, so solar power naturally caught my attention when I stumbled across a GoalZero demo booth last year.
The product I’ve used most extensively is the Nomad 7; pictured above. It seems to be the perfect size for providing charge to a single GoPro. I occasionally insert a GoalZero Guide10 battery pack between the solar panel and the camera in the event I need a multi-day/week/month-long shot. Yes that was Multi-Month-long shot.
Of course this is for those locations in the middle of nowhere. If there is a power outlet within reach, by all means take advantage. Here is a teaser of an upcoming long-term time-lapse video featuring a pot of flowers growing in a sunny window ledge.
Now this method allows for insanely long shots, but as you noticed- no weatherproofing, since the frame housing must be used.
Last ditch method in the event you need to shoot for long periods of time in wet conditions? It’s actually fairly simple. Two identical GoPros with identical settings, and you have to be around to switch them out every so often. (hey GoPro; build us a weatherproof usb plug! plz?)
Finally, get the official GoPro Studio app. I cannot stress this enough to you if you do any work at all with a GoPro. I put off doing this; thinking that I would simply import frames into Adobe and it would work. Big mistake that really cost me time, as I fumbled with Adobe searching for the right combination of codecs and project settings in order to use files raw from the GoPro in different capture settings and frame rates. The GoPro Studio app does most of the technical composition work for you, producing a .mov file which is much easier to work with inside of Adobe. But if you use a DSLR go right ahead, importing jpeg sequences into After Effects will work too.