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Author Topic: Time Lapse Photography - Longer than 1 month - How to?  (Read 1616 times)

Canon1

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Time Lapse Photography - Longer than 1 month - How to?
« on: February 19, 2014, 07:29:22 AM »
I will be constructing a new building for my business and would like to document the process through time laps photography.  Anyone have any experience with this kind of thing?  I will be setting up 2-3 cameras from different vantage points.  One camera will be setup within another building but the other two will be inside enclosures to protect from the elements.  I will not have the ability to leave computers tethered so this would need to be something I can set the camera up to do.   I can then change batteries and swap cards periodically.  I was thinking that an image every 15-30 minutes would document the process nicely.

Because I won't be shooting tethered im trying to find cameras that can do this... also to see if anyone has any suggestions or comments on potential pitfalls.  Anything to think about for a project like this.

Thank you.

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Time Lapse Photography - Longer than 1 month - How to?
« on: February 19, 2014, 07:29:22 AM »

Schruminator

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Re: Time Lapse Photography - Longer than 1 month - How to?
« Reply #1 on: February 19, 2014, 09:26:02 AM »
You do realize that every 15 minutes for a month is 43,200 photos, right? Multiply that by 3 cameras and you're over 125,000 photos. Even will relattively small file sizes, that's still a lot of space you'll need to store things.

Obviously if you take a picture every 30 minutes (instead of 15) you can halve that. With no construction going on at night you could make a circuit to stop taking pictures after dark (plus the pictures at night will probably turn out poorly)-- I'd look at incorporating an Arduino or a similar microcontroller to control things.

Finally, I pulled up a couple of articles that I glanced at a long time ago. I don't know if they will be of much help, but they might get you pointed in the right direction.

http://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-make-a-long-term-time-lapse/
http://hackaday.com/2011/08/21/bunnie-mods-chumby-to-capture-epic-time-lapse-video/
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Re: Time Lapse Photography - Longer than 1 month - How to?
« Reply #2 on: February 19, 2014, 09:33:19 AM »
I'd say that the obvious choice for this scenario would be a GoPro. They can take pretty high resolution, wide FOV still images, they're pretty good with harsh environmental conditions, they have built-in time-lapse capability and they're not terribly expensive. They also have cases that allow you to hold the position of the camera even if it's removed.

The down side of a GoPro is that it has a very small battery, but it does allow you to input a standard mini USB power connector, so you can plug the one that's inside the building in to a wall, and you can get large USB batteries (like the units that charge cellphones externally), so you can swap them out very infrequently. This will be your weak point. If you can possibly get power to the remote units that will be key. Otherwise the cost of big USB batteries may be considerable. There are also photovoltaic options, but that gets very complex, and it doesn't seem that would be necessary in your case.

The maximum duration interval for the GoPro Hero 3 is 1 minute, and if you shoot at maximum quality you'll get 12 megapixel JPEGs that will be less than 5MB. if you get a 64GB microSD card you'll be able to fit over a week of footage on the card in a worst case scenario. If you use the 7 megapixel setting you're talking more like two weeks.

Obviously we're talking about a very large quantity of data in the end. That's something to consider.

Believe me, you're much more likely to get things right if you don't touch the cameras very often. You will need to set things up early and practice a little bit. Everyone I've ever known who has embarked on a first-time time-lapse project (including and especially myself) has done a few stupid things that have messed up segments of the footage. If you have things set up for a few days you can ingest that footage and see what you did wrong.
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Don Haines

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Re: Time Lapse Photography - Longer than 1 month - How to?
« Reply #3 on: February 19, 2014, 10:02:28 AM »
I will be constructing a new building for my business and would like to document the process through time laps photography.  Anyone have any experience with this kind of thing?  I will be setting up 2-3 cameras from different vantage points.  One camera will be setup within another building but the other two will be inside enclosures to protect from the elements.  I will not have the ability to leave computers tethered so this would need to be something I can set the camera up to do.   I can then change batteries and swap cards periodically.  I was thinking that an image every 15-30 minutes would document the process nicely.

Because I won't be shooting tethered im trying to find cameras that can do this... also to see if anyone has any suggestions or comments on potential pitfalls.  Anything to think about for a project like this.

Thank you.

Let's say you go with a GoPro....
expect 3Mb per picture...that gives you 96 pictures per day (300MB) or lets you get 100 days on a 32G card....

You need to power it. I would recommend a car battery and a 12V to USB adaptor to power the camera.

You want to put a sun shield over the camera to keep it from overheating in the sun.

You can use a solar panel to trickle charge your battery....

A picture every 15 minutes will not be enough to capture action if there are cranes.... I'd bump it up to at least every 5 minutes, faster if you can get away with it.... It is a lot easier to throw out data after the work is done than to go back and re-film what you missed....plus, if you use a GoPro, your time lapse interval can only be set to 0.5, 1, 2, 5, 10, 30 or 60 second intervals, and that means 1440 pictures per day and 4.3Gbytes of files per day.... you can shoot for a week on a 32G card.
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HJL

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Re: Time Lapse Photography - Longer than 1 month - How to?
« Reply #4 on: February 19, 2014, 11:01:07 AM »
Very cool! For whatever solution you decide, I hope to see the time lapse when ready!
Check out the webpage of Gunther Wegner  http://lrtimelapse.com  he has nice plugin for lightroom
Good luck

Canon1

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Re: Time Lapse Photography - Longer than 1 month - How to?
« Reply #5 on: February 19, 2014, 08:47:25 PM »
You do realize that every 15 minutes for a month is 43,200 photos, right? Multiply that by 3 cameras and you're over 125,000 photos. Even will relattively small file sizes, that's still a lot of space you'll need to store things.

Obviously if you take a picture every 30 minutes (instead of 15) you can halve that. With no construction going on at night you could make a circuit to stop taking pictures after dark (plus the pictures at night will probably turn out poorly)-- I'd look at incorporating an Arduino or a similar microcontroller to control things.

Finally, I pulled up a couple of articles that I glanced at a long time ago. I don't know if they will be of much help, but they might get you pointed in the right direction.

http://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-make-a-long-term-time-lapse/
http://hackaday.com/2011/08/21/bunnie-mods-chumby-to-capture-epic-time-lapse-video/


My math might be wrong but a photo every 15 minutes for a month is 2880. ;-)

Otherwise thank you very much for the links and comments.

Also thanks to the others for the suggestions. Ill look into the gopro, and will be doing some testing before I actually break earth.

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Re: Time Lapse Photography - Longer than 1 month - How to?
« Reply #6 on: February 19, 2014, 09:25:00 PM »
If it can be done with a pinhole beer can, you can do it as well.

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Re: Time Lapse Photography - Longer than 1 month - How to?
« Reply #6 on: February 19, 2014, 09:25:00 PM »

TeT

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Re: Time Lapse Photography - Longer than 1 month - How to?
« Reply #7 on: February 19, 2014, 09:49:33 PM »
Watch the documentary "Chasing Ice" for that matter anyone who is camera enthused as an amature or pro would enjoy it. Anyways, ultimate time lapse effort...

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Re: Time Lapse Photography - Longer than 1 month - How to?
« Reply #8 on: February 19, 2014, 10:15:19 PM »
I'm assuming you would be making a time lapse video.
 
15 minute spacing is 4 photos/hour, and for a 10 hour day, that's 40 images.  Converting them into standard 30fps video gives 1-1/3 sec for each 10 hour day that something is happening.  At that rate you would have 33 seconds of video in a month. That's before editing, and not counting weekends where nothing may be happening.  .
In a year, you would have 6 minutes and 36 seconds of raw video.
 
Doesn't that seem like too little?  You can probably figure on editing out a lot of it, nothing happens on weekends, bad weather footage might be tossed, I'd expect you could salvage 2 minutes of it for a year.  Having three cameras doesn't really make for much more more video, just for different angles.

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Re: Time Lapse Photography - Longer than 1 month - How to?
« Reply #9 on: February 19, 2014, 11:03:36 PM »
When I've used a GoPro for time lapse, I run the mini USB cord to a regular power outlet.  I would expect some sort of power to be available at a construction site.  This would make it very easy.  The main concern for something that long is of course the memory card.  Older versions of the GoPro took a regular SD card.  This would in theory allow for an EyeFi card to allow photos to be transferred wirelessly.  I've never used one so I can't be sure if they then delete the photos from the card or not, but could be worth looking into.  I would want to closely monitor the photos though to make sure it doesn't run into a glitch.  May also make sense to have an extra camera somewhere you manually remove the card from every couple of nights.

And if you are hesitant about using an older GoPro with lower resolution, keep in mind that photos are far higher in resolution than video is anyway.  Once converted to a time lapse video, you won't even notice.  The biggest issue in my mind would be wider angle.

Canon1

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Re: Time Lapse Photography - Longer than 1 month - How to?
« Reply #10 on: February 20, 2014, 07:13:26 AM »
I'm assuming you would be making a time lapse video.
 
15 minute spacing is 4 photos/hour, and for a 10 hour day, that's 40 images.  Converting them into standard 30fps video gives 1-1/3 sec for each 10 hour day that something is happening.  At that rate you would have 33 seconds of video in a month. That's before editing, and not counting weekends where nothing may be happening.  .
In a year, you would have 6 minutes and 36 seconds of raw video.
 
Doesn't that seem like too little?  You can probably figure on editing out a lot of it, nothing happens on weekends, bad weather footage might be tossed, I'd expect you could salvage 2 minutes of it for a year.  Having three cameras doesn't really make for much more more video, just for different angles.

Correct on the video.  Great point about shot number and length of finished footage.  It may make more sense to take images more frequently then every 15 minutes.  I was concerned that the GoPro would only do 1 min as a max interval, but after thinking about this it may be better to have more shots.  It would always be best to at least have the footage in case I want it for the footage, rather then not have it and wish I did.

Schruminator

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Re: Time Lapse Photography - Longer than 1 month - How to?
« Reply #11 on: February 20, 2014, 12:51:29 PM »

My math might be wrong but a photo every 15 minutes for a month is 2880. ;-)

Otherwise thank you very much for the links and comments.

Also thanks to the others for the suggestions. Ill look into the gopro, and will be doing some testing before I actually break earth.

Good call! For some reason I left the 15 minutes in there when I punched it into the calculator. You know, off by a factor of 15. Close enough for gov't work ;)
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Canon1

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Re: Time Lapse Photography - Longer than 1 month - How to?
« Reply #12 on: February 21, 2014, 07:34:26 AM »

My math might be wrong but a photo every 15 minutes for a month is 2880. ;-)

Otherwise thank you very much for the links and comments.

Also thanks to the others for the suggestions. Ill look into the gopro, and will be doing some testing before I actually break earth.

Good call! For some reason I left the 15 minutes in there when I punched it into the calculator. You know, off by a factor of 15. Close enough for gov't work ;)

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Re: Time Lapse Photography - Longer than 1 month - How to?
« Reply #12 on: February 21, 2014, 07:34:26 AM »

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Re: Time Lapse Photography - Longer than 1 month - How to?
« Reply #13 on: February 21, 2014, 09:19:28 AM »
Just throwing this out there because it came to mind... but could you use the 6d and Wi-Fi to connect to a network area storage and have the images saved onto an external hard drive?

Then you can take a photo every minute and have a more compelling time lapse video.  You also don't have issues with running out of hard drive space.
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Canon1

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Re: Time Lapse Photography - Longer than 1 month - How to?
« Reply #14 on: February 21, 2014, 11:26:13 PM »
I looked into the gopro and brinno...  but decided to build my own.  Found a fantastic DIY option.

http://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-make-a-long-term-time-lapse/?ALLSTEPS


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Re: Time Lapse Photography - Longer than 1 month - How to?
« Reply #14 on: February 21, 2014, 11:26:13 PM »