The weather’s been a little odd for mid-May in southern California, so I decided to take advantage of it this week and see if I could create a camera effect that highlighted the movement of clouds. (Hmmm, I guess weather does affect behavior!) We don’t often have the puffy cumulus types in these parts.
The key to the whole thing is a relatively inexpensive camera device called an intervalometer, an electronic device that triggers the camera shutter at adjustable intervals.
So as I stood in the parking lot of the Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook, my new favorite promontory, I set the intervalometer to snap a shot every two seconds. I calculated this at 30 shots per minute, and 1,800 shots per hour. The research I’d done said the shorter the interval, the smoother the effect. I installed a new 32-gigabyte storage card in the camera, and adjusted the image quality to allow me to get more images on the card.
Math is a beautiful thing; other paramters, not so much.
For some reason, the camera stopped snapping about 45 minutes into the project. I’d intended to go a full hour. I checked the camera specs when I got home, and it seems the battery life is up to 2,700 shots. Perhaps the battery wasn’t fully charged, because I fell more than 40 per cent short of that.
As I look at the video, it seems I may also have had incorrect settings for ingesting the stills into the non-linear editor. It looks to me like the shots are in SD 4:3 aspect ratio rather than the HD 16:9 I was aiming for. But the 45-minute shoot is distilled to 30 seconds, a time-compression of 90:1.
And guess what? Despite everything, the clouds are in motion!
UPDATE (1:10 pm): I monkeyed around with some of the settings, and lo and behond, it wasn’t on the INGEST that the aspect ratio got messed up, it was on the EXPORT! So here’s a fixed version of the video.