Intervalometer welcomes you!

I will cover aspects of time lapse photography from a novice/enthusiast standpoint and show you how I am creating great videos using a point and shoot Canon with free software and without the need for an intervalometer.

I am using the Canon SX230HS and getting great results…you don’t need an expensive DSLR to make these impressive videos.  I will show you how I do it….

Canon SX230HS, for use with CHDK and intervalometer script


Once you go time lapse you never go back!

Here’s a great video just to wet your whistle (I did not make this video by the way…)

How I got started with time lapse photography…

There seemed to be a surge of these videos on the internet and I really enjoyed watching them – some were extremely creative (check out my top 10 favourite time lapse videos).  My curiosity got the better of me and I had to investigate how these are made.  I was quickly disappointed because my quick initial research made me believe you needed an expensive DSLR (digital single-lens reflex) camera and other professional equipment.  But then I stumbled upon CHDK (Canon hack development kit) – I explain this fully here and how you can install it on your Canon camera.  In a nutshell, the CHDK allows a point and shoot camera (must be Canon) to delve into the DSLR world of capabilities; it can enable intervalometer settings (time interval settings required for time lapse photography), motion detection and so much more!

So, I figured out the way to make my point and shoot camera take photos at set intervals (using an intervalometer script, not an actual physical intervalometer) so that I could then stitch all those photos together and make a cool video.  My first attempt even turned out great and is keeping me inspired to move on and keep improving.

I have learned lots of tricks along the way and I want to share those with you all.  I found an amazing piece of software (for free of course!) that is built specifically for this purpose, it is brand new, top of the line, easy to use and feature rich – you can see my review on it at My Equipment.

While I was setting up for my first time lapse session I came to the realization that my camera will only shoot for as long as my battery lasts…well, I thought my whole endeavour was for naught because what’s the point of a time lapse that only spans 2 hours?  Since I cannot plug my camera into AC power and feed it a continual power stream (which most cameras cannot do nowadays) I was almost ready to give up…but then I discovered the solution – check it out at My Equipment!

With all these things in place I set out to make some videos and it has been a very rewarding experience…you can do it too!! Just browse around this site and you will have the know-how to make your own video in no time!!

Thanks for coming and enjoy!

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Since I need to provide my camera with constant AC power I cannot really take it out in the field to capture other interesting timelapses. So, here is yet another timelapse taken from the balcony of my home office on June 19, 2013.

Photos taken every 10 seconds, 1360 in total. Video made using the Time Lapse Tool with 24 frames per second.

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Made another time-lapse. Same equipment, same settings, new day, and also made the video shorter!

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Google Streetview Hyperlapse

Prepare to have your mind blown!!  Tehhan+Lax have released an easy to use web-tool to to make Google Streetview Hyperlapse videos.  Anyone can do it…although the web-tool is a bit limited they do offer the complete source code on github here 

If you use the downloaded source code for this you can have control over the camera viewing angles and framerate and lots more. Using the web tool it is recommended to stick to long straight roads or else you will have to stop the car, open the door and vomit…

What a great idea…now I have to go make some of these myself…… Read more, comment and share

Time Lapse Nova Scotia – Canon SX230HS – 8:30am ’till 8:30pm @ 10 Sec. Intervals

The date is March 28, 2013.  I decided to set up my camera for a time lapse because I was going to be home all day. This is only important because I had the camera outside (susceptible to rain) so that I would avoid glare and reflectance through the window.  I set up the CHDK intervalometer script to capture a photo every 10 seconds (learn how to do this here).  I put the camera in place, pressed the shutter button, and then I made my morning double espresso.

By my calculations a 10 second interval would amount to 6 photos per minute, so 360 photos per hour, and 4320 for the complete 12 hour session.  I wasn’t positive how my camera would react let alone my software for post-processing.  Needless to say my first real time lapse shooting session went without a hitch….almost.  I transferred my photos from the SD card and loaded them in to my TimeLapseTool software program.  As an initial test I just kept all the default settings and proceeded to create the output movie, at 24 frames per second.  The result was impressive – a roughly 700MB movie file exactly 3 minutes long.  The transitions were nice and smooth, overall I was quite happy.  But, there were some very bried flickers and flashes.  I sifted through the pictures in windows explorer by simply holding the forward arrow key and I could see each photo for a split second.  There was no way I could stop and observe each photo when there are more than 4000 of them!  When I saw a flicker I would stop holding the arrow key and back up until I found the culprit.  Seagulls!  Once in a while a seagull would fly through the scene but only be captured in 1 photo.  Of course, when this is played back at 24fps it will just look like a brief flicker/blob.  I singled out a few of those photos and just deleted them.

Also, I noticed a couple of random photos that were a bit darker overall than the rest.  Not sure why this happened but I need to play around with my manual settings.  I just deleted those too – there were only 4 out of 4000+ photos that were noticeably darker.

That’s it.  I recreated the movie, still at 24fps and I first ran a deflicker process over all the photos. My second attempt at the movie was much better and smoother.  It took about 15 minutes using TimeLapseTool to load the photos, deflicker, and create the output movie file.

This was all done with an inexpensive Canon SX230HS point and shoot camera. CHDK was loaded on to the camera to provide advanced settings and options to allow intervalometer scripts to run.  You can do this too, if you have a Canon – just read my CHDK page to find out how.  This was shot from my balcony in Granville Ferry looking across the Annapolis Basin towards Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia and the tidal power plant gates (at the very far left in the video…).  Anyway, enjoy the flick!
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I want you all to know that I am not a professional photographer….just an inspired enthusiast.  I already had my Canon SX230HS well before I was ever interested in time lapse photography.  I kept seeing these awesome videos online and decided I wanted to try myself.  Fortunately, there is a way to make it happen if you own a Canon camera – it’s called CHDK (Canon Hack Development Kit) but I will explain all that on another page here.  Using the CHDK you don’t even need to buy an intervalometer…I really lucked out because I have not had to invest a penny to begin making time lapse videos.

You will find all kinds of great information throughout this site but this post is dedicated to my faithful camera.  I do not buy things on impulse, I always read review after review and that’s exactly what I did before I bought this camera.  Since I am not a professional I just wanted to find a great camera with good value.  I have had this camera for 1.5 years now and couldn’t be happier, here are some of the features that got me excited:

  • 12.1 megapixels
  • 3″ LCD viewfinder
  • Shoots in full 1080p video
  • 14X optical zoom (love that feature!), focal length 28-392mm
  • GPS
  • Great low-light photos
  • 32 automatic modes
  • Manual control for all aspects
  • Photo max res: 4000 x 3000 pixels. Video max res: 1920 x 1080 @ 24fps

For a great camera that shoots high quality photos for a wanna-be pro on a budget – look no further!

Canon SX230HS Canon SX230HS

A nice feature is the fact that this camera has many advanced settings, as my photography skills improve this camera keeps me satisfied because I can manually alter a plethora of settings.  Keep in mind that if you want to do time lapse photography with a point and shoot camera (not a DSLR) AND you don’t want to invest in an intervalometer then you have to get a Canon (as far as I know) because it is the only brand that will allow you to use the CHDK.  Some more details in My Equipment page but you can rest assured you are getting great bang for your buck with this beauty – I ordered mine from amazon – best deal I could find and quick delivery.


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