Discussion in 'Amateur Video Production' started by Anonymous, Jul 18, 2012.

  1. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest




    Time-lapse photography is a technique whereby the frequency
    at which film frames are captured (the frame rate) is much
    lower than that used to view the sequence. When played at
    normal speed, time appears to be moving faster and thus
    lapsing. For example, an image of a scene may be captured
    once every second, then played back at 30 frames per second.
    The result is an apparent 30-times speed increase.
    Time-lapse photography can be considered the opposite of
    high speed photography or slow motion.

    Processes that would normally appear subtle to the human
    eye, e.g. the motion of the sun and stars in the sky,
    become very pronounced. Time-lapse is the extreme version
    of the cinematography technique of undercranking, and can
    be confused with stop motion animation.

    Some classic subjects of timelapse photography include:

    1. cloudscapes and celestial motion
    2. plants growing and flowers opening
    3. fruit rotting
    4. evolution of a construction project
    5. people in the city

    The technique has been used to photograph crowds, traffic,
    and even television. The effect of photographing a subject
    that changes imperceptibly slowly, creates a smooth
    impression of motion. A subject that changes quickly is
    transformed into an onslaught of activity.

    The first use of time-lapse photography in a feature film
    was in Georges Méliès' motion picture Carrefour De L'Opera
    (1897). Time-lapse photography of biologic phenomena was
    pioneered by Jean Comandon in collaboration with Pathé
    Frères from 1909, by F. Percy Smith in 1910 and Roman
    Vishniac from 1915 to 1918. Time-lapse photography was
    further pioneered in the 1920s via a series of feature
    films called Bergfilms (Mountain films) by Arnold Fanck,
    including The Holy Mountain (1926).

    From 1929 to 1931, R. R. Rife astonished journalists with
    early demonstrations of high magnification time-lapse
    cine-micrography but no filmmaker can be credited for
    popularizing time-lapse more than Dr. John Ott, whose
    life-work is documented in the DVD-film "Exploring the

    Ott's initial "day-job" career was that of a banker, with
    time-lapse movie photography, mostly of plants, initially
    just a hobby. Starting in the 1930s, Ott bought and built
    more and more time-lapse equipment, eventually building a
    large greenhouse full of plants, cameras, and even
    self-built automated electric motion control systems for
    moving the cameras to follow the growth of plants as they
    developed. He time-lapsed his entire greenhouse of plants
    and cameras as they worked - a virtual symphony of
    time-lapse movement. His work was featured on a late
    1950s episode of the request TV show, You Asked For It.

    Ott discovered that the movement of plants could be
    manipulated by varying the amount of water the plants were
    given, and varying the color-temperature of the lights
    in the studio. Some colors caused the plants to flower,
    and other colors caused the plants to bear fruit. Ott
    discovered ways to change the sex of plants merely by
    varying the light source color-temperature.

    By using these techniques, Ott time-lapse animated plants
    "dancing" up and down in synch to pre-recorded music tracks.

    His cinematography of flowers blooming in such classic
    documentaries as Walt Disney's Secrets of Life (1956),
    pioneered the modern use of time-lapse on film and
    television. Ott wrote several books on the history of his
    time-lapse adventures, My Ivory Cellar (1958), "Health and
    Light" (1979), and the film documentary "Exploring the
    Spectrum" (DVD 2008).

    A major refiner and developer of time-lapse is the Oxford
    Scientific Film Institute in Oxford, United Kingdom. The
    Institute specializes in time-lapse and slow-motion
    systems, and has developed camera systems that can go
    into (and move through) impossibly small places. Most
    people have seen at least some of their footage which
    has appeared in TV documentaries and movies for decades.

    PBS's NOVA series aired a full episode on time-lapse
    (and slow motion) photography and systems in 1981 titled
    Moving Still. Highlights of Oxford's work are slow-motion
    shots of a dog shaking water off himself, with close ups
    of drops knocking a bee off a flower, as well as time-lapse
    of the decay of a dead mouse.

    The first major usage of time-lapse in a feature film was
    Koyaanisqatsi (1983). The non-narrative film, directed by
    Godfrey Reggio, contained much time-lapse of clouds, crowds,
    and cities filmed by cinematographer Ron Fricke. Years
    later, Ron Fricke produced a solo project called "Chronos"
    shot on IMAX cameras, which is still frequently played on
    Discovery HD. Fricke used the technique extensively in the
    documentary Baraka (1992) which he photographed on Todd-AO
    (70 mm) film. The most recent film made entirely in
    time-lapse photography is Nate North's film Silicon Valley
    Timelapse, which holds the distinction of being the first
    feature length film shot almost entirely in 3 frame high
    dynamic range.

    Countless other films, commercials, TV shows and
    presentations have included time-lapse.

    For example, Peter Greenaway's film A Zed & Two Noughts
    featured a sub-plot involving time-lapse photography of
    decomposing animals and included a composition called
    "Time-lapse" written for the film by Michael Nyman. More
    recently, Adam Zoghlin's time-lapse cinematography was
    featured in the CBS television series Early Edition,
    depicting the adventures of a character that receives
    tomorrow's newspaper today. David Attenborough's 1995
    series, The Private Life of Plants, also utilised the
    technique extensively.

    The frame rate of time-lapse movie photography can be
    varied to virtually any degree, from a rate approaching a
    normal frame rate (between 24 and 30 frames per second) to
    only one frame a day, a week, or more, depending on subject.

    The term "time-lapse" can also apply to how long the
    shutter of the camera is open during the exposure of EACH
    frame of film (or video), and has also been applied to the
    use of long-shutter openings used in still photography in
    some older photography circles. In movies, both kinds of
    time-lapse can be used together, depending on the
    sophistication of the camera system being used. A night
    shot of stars moving as the Earth rotates requires both
    forms. A long exposure of each frame is necessary to enable
    the dim light of the stars to register on the film. Lapses
    in time between frames provide the rapid movement when the
    film is viewed at normal speed.

    As the frame rate of time-lapse approaches normal frame
    rates, these "mild" forms of time-lapse are sometimes
    referred to simply as fast motion or (in video) fast
    forward. This type of borderline time-lapse resembles a
    VCR in a fast forward ("scan") mode. A man riding a
    bicycle will display legs pumping furiously while he
    flashes through city streets at the speed of a racing car.
    Longer exposure rates for each frame can also produce blurs
    in the man's leg movements, heightening the illusion of speed.

    Two examples of both techniques are the running sequence in
    Terry Gilliam's The Adventures of Baron Munchausen (1989) in
    which Eric Idle outraces a speeding bullet, and Los Angeles
    animator Mike Jittlov's 1980 short and feature-length film,
    both titled The Wizard of Speed and Time, released to
    theaters in 1987 and to video in 1989.

    An animated example is the clip from the show "The Simpsons"
    in which Homer Simpson takes a picture of himself a day for
    39 years, although it is intended to be a comedy, thus not

    When used in motion pictures and on television, fast motion
    can serve one of several purposes. One popular usage is for
    comic effect. A slapstick style comic scene might be played
    in fast motion with accompanying music. (This form of special
    effect was often used in silent film comedies in the early
    days of the cinema; see also liquid electricity.)

    Another use of fast motion is to speed up slow segments of a
    TV program that would otherwise take up too much of the time
    allotted a TV show. This allows, for example, a slow scene in
    a house redecorating show of furniture being moved around
    (or replaced with other furniture) to be compressed in a
    smaller allotment of time while still allowing the viewer to
    see what took place.

    The opposite of fast motion is slow motion. Cinematographers
    refer to fast motion as undercranking since it was originally
    achieved by cranking a handcranked camera slower than normal.
    Overcranking produces slow motion effects.

    Anonymous, Jul 18, 2012
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