Time-lapse photography is a cinematography technique whereby the frequency at which film frames are captured (the frame rate) is much lower than that which will be used to play the sequence back. When replayed 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, and then played back at 30 frames per second; the result would be an apparent increase of speed by 30 times. Time-lapse photography can be considered to be the opposite of high speed photography.
Processes that would normally appear subtle to the human eye, such as 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.
The view from the International Space Station never ceases to amaze.
A recent time-lapse video composed of a series of photos taken by the Expedition 30 crew on Dec. 29, 2011, shows Mother Earth in all her glory.
As the space station passes over Africa, lightning can be seen on the ground and the Milky Way looms on the horizon. The sun is beginning to rise over the Indian Ocean just as the video ends.
To give you an idea of how fast the ISS travels, the pictures in the video were taken over only a 20-minute period.
We had trouble seeing it, but NASA insists that the Lovejoy Comet is visible near the Milky Way. Let us know in the comments if you’re able to spot it.
And if you’re itching for more time-lapse videos from space, check out HuffPost’s collection of 2011 space and sky videos.
Time-Lapse Video tutorial.
We’ll start by understanding some fundamental rules. Under normal circumstances, every one second in a video comprise of 24-30 frames of photos, calculated with the unit fps (frame per second). If you watch a 2 minutes video at 24 fps, that means it’s made up of 2880 photos (frames) animating at high speed.
To create Time-lapse effect, you basically reduce the interval for each shot and merge them into a 24-30 fps video. E.g., if the sun takes 12 hours to set and you take a photo every 1 minute, you will have 720 photos. With a 24 fps compression, you’ll have a video of sun rise to sun set in 30 seconds. Isn’t it amazing!
You probably already have some ideas in mind, but here’s what we can think of just in case you left your creative cap at home.
- Sunrise, sunset, or from sunrise to sunset
- Fruit rotting
- Flower blossoming
- Growth of plant
- Ice melting
- Clouds movement
- Stars movement (clear sky required)
- Movements of a busy city street
- Time lapse: Yosemite (blogs.discovermagazine.com)