Expert: Nicki Fitz-Gerald
Nicki Fitz-Gerald is the co-author of “The Art of iPhone Photography” published in August 2013 and founder of the popular iPhoneographyCentral blog which she manages with Bob Weil.
Nicki’s iPhoneography has won a number of awards and has been exhibited thorough out the world.
Nicki will be judging the Mobile Photography Awards 2014 with her iPhoneographyCentral partner Bob Weil.
A BEGINNERS GUIDE TO TIME-LAPSE PHOTOGRAPHY USING A MOBILE DEVICE:
Time-lapse photography is a great and fun way to condense a lot of visual information into a short space of time. It is a process of capturing single frames at specified intervals and playing back the images at a faster rate creating a shorter time.
It is great for capturing lengthy processes that feature dramatic changes over time, paintings and drawings, decaying fruit or flowers, people gathering and dispersing, building a house etc. There are also some fantastic creative ways of using timelapse but this tutorial aims to get to grips with the basics. All you need is a mobile capture device and a tripod!
WHAT YOU WILL NEED:
a) iPhone (or smartphone with timelapse app)
b) Lollipod Tripod (to keep your mobile device steady)
c) Joby Grip Tight Mount (or other suitable mount to secure your mobile device to your Lollipod tripod)
d) An app such as OSnap (to record your timelapse shots)
e) Some apps have built in editing such as Magic Lapse, Otherwise you’ll need iMovie or such like to edit your shots and add music
BEFORE YOU START:
Try to pick an event that moves quite slowly but has a lot of contrast of movement and changes in scale. For example, you will see from my “Weymouth bridge lift”, there are several areas where movement is taking place; the constant movement of the water, the quicker jerkier movement of the people and the steady movement of the clouds.
Finally, in the second part of the clip we have the dramatic bridge lift which adds an unexpected touch and more movement.
STEP 1: CHOOSE A GOOD SUBJECT AND PERSPECTIVE:
Brilliant timelapse movies are often taken from extreme views, often high-up looking down on busy people scenes; train stations and shopping centres where people appear as ants forming patterns of movement. When you have chosen your scene, take at least 5 minutes to have a good walk around; frame the scene with your camera and choose the most interesting view point.
STEP 2: POSITION & STABILISE YOUR LOLLIPOD:
Whilst I was filming the bridge lift, it was very windy. The little net attachment supplied with the Lollipod tripod fits easily to the bottom of the Lollipod. Add a bag of pebbles and you have a secure tripod ready to take on any South Westerly.
The great thing about the Lollipod is that it is fantastically light (only 320grams) and folds down easily to a mere 32cm to get into my little backpack. The set up is easy and quick. Simply pull out the tripod extensions, (a quick turn on bottom to secure the base, then once you’ve reach the required height it is ready to go – nothing to tighten – the extensions will simply stay exactly where you’ve positioned them – Brilliant!
I used a Grip Tight Mount by Joby, a fantastic little mount that folds flat, is easy to carry in your pocket, or on a keyring and will accommodate smartphones from 54-72mm wide. Lollipod will also be producing their own mount soon.
STEP 3: START YOUR APP & SHOOT:
Finally I used OSnap software to record the film on my iPhone5. This software very simple to use.
Start by tapping on the “+” symbol, bottom left-hand corner to create your new project.
Then Tap “New Project” and give your project a title. Tap “Create”, then “START SHOOTING”
Tap on the little clock icon to start shooting straight away by tapping on “Start Timer”. At this point you can also adjust your settings by choosing “Adjust Current Timer Settings”.
Experiment with these settings to get different effects, for example taking more frames per second will give you smoother movement but will take up more space on your device.
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All Images Copyright Nicki Fitz-Gerald