I’m slowly collecting my little snippits of time lapse video from around Greenville. So far I’ve been limited to 10-15 second bits. That might be enough if I string a bunch of them together.
Regardless, Saturday morning I decided to do a time lapse at the downtown Greenville Farmer’s Market. I headed down early before the crowds arrived so that I could get set up. I was armed with my larger tripod, and my newly acquired selfie stick, which has a tripod mount in the bottom of it. Extended, it would put my GoPro nearly twelve feet in the air. Not to shabby.
I set up toward the upper end of the farmer’s market so that I would have a view back down the hill toward the Poinsett Hotel. I found a great place right across from Port City Java, so I got a large cup of coffee, then set up the tripod, on the street where I thought it would be out of the way.
Here’s a still of the scene that I captured:
My last time lapse attempt was cut short by some grounds keepers, and I only got ten seconds worth of video. This time I decided to use a five second interval, not only to get me a longer video clip, but also so that it might follow individuals a bit better.
I set the video going, settled in with my coffee, and watched the shoppers walk past. I had my laptop with me, so I caught up on blogging using free wifi while I waited for the images to collect. A few curious folks asked about the camera, but most ignored it.
Turns out it was a good thing I had set the interval for five seconds. About thirty five minutes after I started the time lapse someone came over and said that I would have to take it down. They said that setting up to video downtown events was not allowed, and that I would need a permit. She also so that as the crowds increased, the tripod would be in the way. I complied. I got about 310 images from the session – useable, but still short.
I’ve had someone mention that the official’s request could have been an infringement upon my rights as a photographer. While I’m a bit proponent of photographer’s rights, I don’t think this was such a case. The concern was more over a tripod in a set location for a long period of time. There were plenty of people walking around with cameras that were not stopped, and I’ve never been stopped when I had my camera with me. They don’t even question casual video.
Anyway, I took what I had and processed it. I imported the images straight from the camera into the GoPro app and processed them at 23.9 FPS at 1080HD. I did use the fish eye correction because I didn’t like the curved trees.
Even though it was short I liked it. I like the light moving down the buildings, as well as the erratic movements of the shoppers.
I decided I had to see it in tilt-shift. This time I imported the raw images into Lightroom. I ran one of my tilt-shift presets, then corrected for the fish eye effect. After exporting the new versions, I brought them into my GoPro app and processed them. Here’s the result:
Once again this turned out to be a series of lessons learned. While I like the results, I can see some improvements. First, I would eliminate the tripod so that I don’t get hassled. The GoPro can easily be strapped to a lamp post or tree. One of the biggest problems, though, is with battery life. Thus strapped, it’s almost impossible to change the batteries without altering the view. I guess I’d either have to rig a way to get continuous power, or be satisfied with whatever I got on one battery.
I would also move the camera closer to the vendors. I think I would have gotten much more movement there. The image below shows the changes I’d make:
Even so, I think I captured some cool stuff. I know I’ll have to come back another time.
I’ve been trying to figure out a way to do panning without having to purchase an expensive dolly setup. I think I have found a workaround. The GoPro app lets me save the video in its full 4000 X 2000 resolution, which is much higher than 1080P. I did that, then applied a “Ken Burns” effect from left to right. On this particular video I’m not sure I like it. It cuts out the creeping bits of sunlight that I liked so much. It might work better on larger scenes.
I also decided to create a GIF from the video. This looks fairly good, but somehow…incomplete.