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Long Term Timelapse


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#1 Renny McCauley

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Posted 23 July 2009 - 06:12 PM

We are looking to do a long term time lapse in Golden Gate Park. We'd like to shoot for weeks or even months. The limitations are that this is being done in a public place and there is no power tap available. The camera will be hidden in a tree, so I'm not so much worried about theft.

The best route I've come up with so far is to have a Canon 20D connected to a timer remote controller. I will use as big of a card as possible (32GB?) and set the camera to one of the lower rez settings.

But this still limits me to the life of the battery which is probably hardly a day. There's no way we can swap the batteries daily. This seems far-fetched but is there any kind of solar power adapter that a camera could plug into? Or does anybody have any other idea?

And also, the camera will need to be protected in some kind of housing. Any ideas here?

Am I even on the right track here? I wonder if anybody's pulled off something like this?

Thanks,
Renny
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#2 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 23 July 2009 - 06:46 PM

Im sure you could rig something. I know they have solar powered battery chargers out there. Or what about something like rigging the camera to a battery box? Something like marine batteries supplying the right voltage to the camera?
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#3 John Sprung

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Posted 23 July 2009 - 08:03 PM

My old school friend Jo Carson did some months-long time lapse back in the 1970's with Mitchells. I don't have her current contact info, but here's her IMDB entry:

http://www.imdb.com/...lX20effects1980




-- J.S.
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#4 Chad Stockfleth

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Posted 23 July 2009 - 09:29 PM

This is an interesting proposition. There are so many variables: weather, animals/insects, theft, etc. I feel like you'd want to check on it pretty regularly.

What sort of interval are you going to shoot at? I'd assume you'd only shoot during the day? If that's true then you wouldn't need much power throughout the night and whenever the camera isn't firing. I've got a 40D and the batteries last suprising long, especially if you have the battery grip.

I'm curious to hear more about what you're trying to do. I've gotten pretty interested in timelapses lately since getting one of those Meade telescope heads.
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#5 Renny McCauley

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Posted 24 July 2009 - 12:08 PM

How long do the batteries last with battery grip? I suppose if we could get several days out of it, that would be a start.

For this project, we want to have a timelapse of people visiting a memorial site. Each day people filtering in and out, leaving flowers, etc. I'd think we would want to go from sunrise to sunset but I'm not sure how you'd get the camera to stop taking pictures at night. I don't think the interval has to be all that often. Once a minute or 30 seconds? Not totally sure yet.

We might do a lifecycle of flowers sort of timelapse to - a bunch of flowers opening, closing, dying etc.

Renny
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#6 Ewan OBrien

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Posted 28 July 2009 - 02:08 PM

In my experience, a Mitchell 35mm camera fitted with a Jackson Woodburn motor is the best kit for timelapse.
The handbuilt registation and clawdown mechanism inside these vintage cameras is exceptionally steady, which may make a difference on a long shoot.
They are still used today for some SFX plate shots where steadiness is important.
And the Jackson Woodburn motors can be programmed with all manner of creative instructions like speed ramping or switching off at night.
There are many solar powered trickle chargers on the market for marine and leisure use, which could easily keep a 12volt camera battery topped up throughout your shoot period. I'm pretty sure a good camera hire company would have done something like this before and wouldn't mind their tech guys chatting to you about it. Good luck!

Ewan.
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#7 Mihai Bodea

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Posted 31 July 2009 - 03:46 AM

I am supposed to do a timelapse of a construction site for about three years. I will do something like once or twice a week, for a couple of minutes on video. my solution is to use a tripod from the same spot set at the same height, with the camera pointing at the same direction. my advantage is that I have a tall building near by that I can use. still it will be difficult to frame exactly the same because the scenery will be changing drastically.
in your case using a tree for a base might be wrong as the tree is not stable ; shooting a frame each minute or 30 seconds will produce lots of material in a few weeks or months, so you should first do your math.
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