It’s 2:20 in the morning.
The alarm on my phone starts to beep and I fumble for it in the dark.
36+28=64, 84-13=31, 9x6=63, no wait 54!, The third correct answer
finally deactivates the alarm and I’m now awake enough to remember
what it is the heck I even set it for. I’m on Cape Cod for a family
trip and I’m not going to let a night in a precious green zone go to
waste. It’s dark here, really dark and the excitement carries me the
rest of the way out of bed.
I throw on thermal socks and pull my last battery from the wall charger
grabbing my tripod and camera bag on the way out. It’s only about a
quarter mile walk to the small east facing pier I found on Google Earth.
I make my way down the bank, set up the camera and carefully focus in at
infinity. A few more test shots and I think I’ve got a good
composition. The dock to the right provides a nice foreground, a moored
boat should add some fun movement and of course the Milky Way, barely
visible outside of my camera’s preview window, but I know it should
move slowly clockwise before the moon rises just off to the right.
I check everything over one last time: exposure time and the rule of
600, good; manual settings, check; interval, set. The test images look
good. Let’s begin.
It’s cold tonight, but not too cold and as a blip of a shooting star
diverts my attention to another part of the alive night sky, I can’t
help but think “I’m going to be here for a while... a very long
“...and that’s a beautiful thing.”
Why Time-lapse Photography?
For me it’s about freedom. Time-lapse is a strange thing: It frees you
from the normal flow of your routine and all that busyness of life, yet
at the same time it can connect you to your surroundings more than
anything else. It is an awareness we seldom experience. As Lindsey Clark
comments, time-lapse can be “a reminder that we are on a massive,
moving orb and definitely not the most important thing even in our own
I first saw it in the faces of family members: the fascination and the
amazement when I shared a clip hot off the rendering queue. It’s not
just an image or a scene - it’s how that place moved and worked; it
was that place’s story, at least for the brief time I was there. It
starts to make people think and it gets them energized. It allows them,
even if for a small moment, to armchair travel in the most incredible
ways to what seems like impossible places.
Time-lapse has a way of slowing the world for the photographer while at
the same time accelerating it for everyone else. I shoot time-lapse
because it alters the way I think, it challenges my view of the world
and teaches me things I can bring back and share with everybody else.
It’s also pretty amazing to watch.
The entrepreneurial aspect of the art is extremely exciting. So many
photographers and filmmakers, having looked around and not found what
they need to get the time altered shots they envision, have just gone
ahead and built the tools themselves - often creating new companies or
open source communities in the process.
The level of innovation, especially over the last few years, is
incredible. Not only are we quickly fixing problems that have plagued
photographers for years, but advancing camera controls and processing
tools that used to be cost prohibitive are now becoming affordable for
even the most basic hobbyist.
This is the change and energy that gets me fired up! This is why I’m
so excited to share this with you. The more people that become involved
with time-lapse the bigger the ideas, the better the innovations and the
more amazing the stories we can tell.
It’s a real honor and privilege to partner with you on this training
journey. I hope this book is helpful and I would love to hear from you.
Best of luck,
Excerpted from "Time-lapse Photography: A Complete Introduction to Shooting, Processing and Rendering Time-lapse Movies with a DSLR Camera (Volume 1)" by Ryan A Chylinski. Copyright © 2012 by Ryan A Chylinski. Excerpted by permission. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher. Excerpts are provided solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.