Time-Lapse Photography with Your DSLR

Time-lapse photography has always impressed me. I just imagined there was someone spending a lot of time behind a camera taking heaps of photos as a flower began to bloom or an egg started to crack open. It seemed logical to capture these incredible events, but who really has the patience for this stuff?

Well it seems that one guy, Ross Ching, not only has the patience for it but is also willing to explain how he does it. If you’re wondering whether he has any credibility check out his latest work Eclectic 2.0. While the images are stunning it simply takes your breath away when you realise that this was all performed using his DSLR and not a video camera.

So, you want to know how he did it? Check out his guest post at the Digital Photography School blog.

Which got me thinking, is it possible to do time-lapse photography with my non-DSLR? I’ve previously introduced my Olympus SP-560 UZ – which I still think is an awesome camera IMHO. After checking out what Ross has done, I can’t imagine that it would be too hard to achieve with my digital camera.

Sure enough, it’s not. The SP-560 comes complete with, as many digital cameras now do, time lapse as an option. It will let me take up to 99 shots with intervals of up to 99 minutes. Provided my batteries are fully-charged and I have some continuous lighting available it is possible to film a flower blossoming over a period of almost 7 days.

Knowing one has the power and using it are often two completely different paradigms. Yet I’m keen to put this feature to the test. It’s now just a matter of finding a worthy subject. However I’m guessing there are also some other limitations to the equation.

  1. Security – I can’t just leave this propped up and unattended in the front garden.
  2. Weather and/ or condensation – this could be a real problem especially if the time-lapse period extended throughout the night, which is very possible given the length of time some blooms take to open. There is an after-market waterproof housing (aff.) available and probably worth the effort if this is going to become something I explore more.
  3. Batteries – obviously extending the camera’s usage over a long period will drain the batteries even though it does go into sleep mode between intervals. The best bet for this is some high mAh rated rechargeables and even replacing them between days may be a helpful option.
  4. Lighting – unless you want to use the effects of changed lighting over the time lapse period you may want to install some lighting that will be consistent. This benefit will obviously take some extra thinking through as well especially when it comes to the power source required.

So there you have it. While your images may not come up as good as Ross’s – or they may even be better – time-lapse photography is not out of reach for most home gardeners. I can’t wait to see some projects from other gardeners as you explore this option.

GardeningTipsnIdeas.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. Additionally, we participates in various other affiliate programs, and we sometimes get a commission through purchases made through our links.