My First Time Lapse Play Button

First Time Lapse

OK. So my first time lapse movie, a collection of about 3,500 stills shot in the font living room over almost 24 hours, turned out better than I thought it would. I only had one major issue, catastrophic actually: I forgot to take the camera out of auto focus until the last several hours of the time lapse!!

This causes a number of issues:

  • As the sun lights the outdoors and the wind blows the plants, the camera couldn’t decide on what to focus: inside or outside. Tragic!
  • The focus fluctuation then caused some variance of brightness values (flickering) from image to image.
  • The focus fluctuations causes exposure issues on small thin things like the wood between the window panes.

To reduce how obvious the focus issues are, I am posting a small version of the original 1920 x 1080 time lapse. While this hides the focus anomalies somewhat, it also takes the drama out of the starts moving through the sky as it begins to fill with light. When I turned the auto focus off, the remainder of the time lapse is solidly focused.

The only other thing I really am not happy with (that I should be able to control): such marked changes in brightness from the inside/outside and from day/night cause overexposures and underexposures over time. I’m not really sure how to best compensate for that. When cars drove by outside, they sometimes reflected flashes of light into the room. But, I couldn’t block off the street.

ISO: 100
Aperture: 2.8
Shutter: variable
Lens: 14mm
Editor: FCP
FPS: 24 with each still shot as 1 frame
Total images: 3,445
Shot interval: 20 seconds (though when totally dark, the exposure time was at 30 seconds)

For a first try, I’m surprised at how straight forward the process seemed to be! Next time: no auto focus!