Photography - Time Lapse

YouTube Video

Time-lapse photography is a technique whereby the frequency at which frames are captured is much lower than the rate at which they will be played back. If for example, a process is recorded at two frames per second (2 fps), it will play back fifteen times faster than the real motion when played at a normal playback rate of 30 frames per second (30 fps).  (30 fps / 2 fps = 15).  Time-lapse photography is the opposite of slow motion photography. Time lapse photography helps us see processes that are normally too subtle to notice, such as the apparent movement of the sun and stars or clouds in the sky.  

Time Lapse - Automatic (short time frame)

  • Purchase a cell-phone tripod.
  • Use the time-lapse feature in your cell phone camera.  If one is not available, download a slow motion App. 
  • Record a time-lapse event of something of scientific interest. Set the frame rate so that the final product is one minute or less. Note, for longer sequences you will need to make certain your phone is powered externally.
  • Label the video with topic and your name in this fashion:  Topic (Name).
  • Upload your the appropriate folder. 
  • Also upload it into your Youtube account.
  • Here are some ideas
    • Food dye moving up int a white carnation
    • Freeze an ice cube with food coloring and melt it in a glass of water
    • Evaporation of a glass of water under a heat lamp
    • Water coming to boil in a glass container
    • Bread rising
    • Snail on sidewalk or in aquarium
    • Cloud formation and movement
    • Sunset / Sunrise
    • Traffic on a freeway (viewed from a pedestrian overpass)
    • Ants devouring a cookie
    • ice formation
    • Diffusion of food coloring in water at different temperatures
    • Paper chromatography
    • Dew condensing & evaporating

YouTube Video

Time Lapse - Manual (long time frame)

  • Record something of scientific interest over multiple days.  Here is an example of bacterial growth. 
  • Label the video with topic and your name in this fashion:  Topic (Name).
  • Upload your the appropriate folder. 
  • Also upload it into your Youtube account.
  • Here are some ideas
    • Germination
    • Flower formation
    • Root growth in germinating plant
    • Caterpillars pupating.
    • Tadpoles turning into frogs.
    • Decomposition of fruit
    • Fungal growth
    • Ant farm - ants creating tunnels
    • Movement of shadow and lighting on a tree throughout the day
    • Weed germination after a rain
    • Movement of the stars at night
    • Incoming our outgoing tide
    • heliotropism in sunflower or lupine
    • sugar crystal formation in supersaturated sugar solution
    • nails rusting when kept in humid conditions after exposure to salt water
    • Apparent rotation of the stars

Sample Videos (Dr. Herr)

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