Over the summer I had a chance to play around a bit with a Trigger Trap in creating timelapse movies. Now, admittedly I’m not an expert in the field and this is post will be an oversimplification of the process, but what’s important to know is it’s really not hard to do. In my case, one afternoon when I was suffering from a little cabin fever I decided to set up shop photographing a bird house that had tree swallows nesting in it.
I’m not a birder and I don’t own a 500mm lens, so I used my 70-200mm with a 1.4 extender to close the gap between me and my avian subjects. Using the Triggertrap mobile app’s timelapse feature, I was able to program the app to take a series of nearly 700 images over the course of 40 minutes. If you don't see the movie below in your feed then simply click HERE.
The process was pretty straightforward:
1. I set my camera file to a medium quality jpeg to save on space and processing time.
2. Set your camera’s image aspect ratio to 16×9. If you’re unable to do this then you can make adjustments later in Lightroom using the crop tool. (If you do have to crop later, remember to give yourself room to do so as it will shorten your vertical height.)
2. I turned off the camera LCD preview to save on battery.
4. The Trigger Trap really does most of the work by calculating how many images need to be photographed based on how long you’ll be photographing. There are two sliders, one for the amount of photos and the other for the duration you’ll be shooting, and you work them back and forth to get your desired movie length and fps rate. For example, I told the app I wanted 40 minutes worth of photos and 750 images, which it calculated would be 55 seconds of footage at 15fps.
5. Using Lightroom 4.4 I processed the images a bit further by adding some contrast and vibrance, and then synced those settings between all the images by selecting all of them and using the Sync button in the Develop module.
5. Finally, I used the Slideshow feature in Lightroom’s 4.4 to export the clips as a movie by clicking on the Export video button. It’s important to note that you’re no longer able to create time lapse videos in Lightroom 5.0 (to the best of my knowledge) so if you enjoy making timelapse then I strongly recommend keeping the older LR version installed.
A good quick read that will get your feet wet on the subject is “Timelapse” by Dave Delnea available on Craft & Vision.