Time-lapse Clouds

In 2004 I became enamored with clouds.  Eventually just with the blue sky itself.  Over the following few years I took hundreds, maybe a thousand or two, pictures of clouds.  It was the closest I think I’ve ever been to obsession.  🙂  At some point I decided to set my camera up on the tripod and take several photos of the same patch of sky, each a few seconds apart.  I got a lot of funny looks doing that, and even an attempt to recruit me into some kind of new-agey cult!   So I was making time-lapses, even though at the time I yet had no way of converting the still photos into video.  I wrote an image browser in visual basic to flip through them with.  Later, it finally occurred to me to google it and I found shareware that would knit the stills together into video.  So here are the best of my first attempts at time-lapse video!  These were taken in the summers of 2005 and 2006.

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9 minutes of clouds compressed into 3 seconds
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12 minutes of clouds squeezed into 10 seconds
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One thing that seems pretty clear from these is that I need more frames!  And frames closer together.  And this would just be a whole lot more do-able if my camera would just keep taking pictures by itself, a few seconds apart.  I’m about due for a new camera anyway — do any of you dear photographer friends of mine know if there are any cameras these days that’ll do that?  🙂

The other thing that is clear, from my posts of late — these time-lapse clouds, the phone sheep, and nudibranchs — is that I need to get my butt back to painting!


Filed under Photography

13 responses to “Time-lapse Clouds

  1. Jim

    It’s called movie mode man!

    I have a Canon S95, arguably the finest pocket digicam sold (well, until replaced late last year with the S100, which is very similar). It can shoot in burst mode, maybe 5 shots at a time, but doesn’t keep shooting beyond that.

    • Well it sounds like I’m going to have to check out the S100 anyway then. Because it’s ‘five better’. 🙂 The idea struck me today though, that I should find a digital camera that will fit my old 35mm Pentax zoom lenses… If possible.

      • Jim

        Pentax’s modern DSLRs all still use the old K mount, so your lenses would snap right on. If I understand correctly, however, they would not give the same magnification amount as they did on your film camera, as the area on the 35mm negative is different from the area of the digital sensor.

        • Good to know! I’ll definitely be looking at newer Pentaxes (Pentaxi?) then. Roger was telling me the same about the digital sensor being smaller than 35mm and thus altering the zoom. I think he said I’d get more zoom, which sounds great actually! I think I understand that — same optical magnification on the smaller CCD, so the resulting image would look bigger on any monitor, as compared with a scanned 35mm from the same lens… Is that how it works?

          • Jim

            I think that’s right, but I don’t have experience with it to know for sure. I haven’t taken the plunge on a DSLR yet. I have a ton of Pentax K-mount lenses here too…

  2. Rob Slaven

    oh my but those are just so cool. Similarly awkward, I suspect, to my plan for the summer to set a camera up on a tripod and then walk some distance from it and snap pictures by remote control. Thus so as not to scare off the beasties. As for time lapse schtuff… I don’t know. I’ve considered it before but even my newer camera SEEMS to require a laptop connection to do such things.

    • Thanks! 🙂 They’ve been years in the making! Lackadaisically, but years nonetheless.

      That does sound like a good idea — kind of how we send cameras to far off planets so as not to scare off the aliens — oh, wait, no. Hmmm.

  3. Rob Slaven

    ah, ok, one quick google search later… you can get a remote timer thing that will just use the remote features to snap a picture every whatever seconds. Easy at pie. Now *I* may have to go do this! Jeeze!

  4. Wonderful videos, Zorgor! I have countless photos of the sky, especially sunsets, but never have thought of making videos of a time lapse. Great work on these! I have a Fujifilm S700, which I love, but it does not have the feature you are looking for.

I'd love to hear your thoughts and interpretations! Your comments and likes are what keep the paintings and posts coming. :)

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