Time Lapse Tropical Hibiscus

Tropical Hibiscus About To Bloom

Time lapse photography involves taking many still images and stitching them together to make a movie. You can manually click the shutter or get a shutter release cable with an interval timer.

How this came about. I got a birthday email from my camera maker. Hey Vickie Happy Birthday!  Spend $40 and get $20 off your purchase. So I went looking for my birthday present.  There was a shutter release cable! (When I purchased my camera there was no shutter release cable available)  But now there is. Getting excited here, Happy Birthday to me! Total $36 after the $20 off.  Not to bad I thought. Then I saw SOLD OUT. Bummer!

So I go to my favorite place to shop Ebay.  There was a shutter release cable with an interval timer. Total $17.99 including shipping. Even better! (This is photography on a budget!)

Buying name brands can be expensive. But the alternative is to buy 3rd party equipment.  Most of the time they work  great and it is way cheaper. Remember the original price was $56 before the birthday discount plus shipping and no interval timer. Yes I hit the buy it now button!

Just so happens I have a Tropical Hibiscus that was just about to bloom.

Perfect! Time to play.

I set up my camera and tripod hooked up the shutter release/interval timer and started shooting! (The flower was in the house, under flourescent lights. I placed a piece of black fabric behind it.)

So while I was at work, gardening, visiting friends, canning pickles and sleeping my camera was clicking away every 20 minutes. I am a multi-tasker!

Now I have 364  images and don’t have a program to stitch them all together.  Off to Google!

I didn’t want to buy a program as this is something fun to try but not something I will do all the time. I came across a FREE program called PhotoLapse 3. It is very simple to use just load the images in and say create movie. How simple is that and did I mention it was free!

Things I learned :
Don’t zoom in to close. Leave room in the frame because you don’t know how big the bloom will get and which way it will open.
Keep changing your batteries. You don’t want to run out of power in the middle.
Also be careful not to bump the camera while changing the batteries be sure to refocus

Shoot every 10-15 minutes instead of 20.
Have a big enough memory card to hold all those images and shoot jpg
Be patient!

The end result after 2 days/nights of shooting I have 364 images and a 18 sec movie.

It’s not perfect… The bloom never fully opened and the movie could be smoother .  But for my First Attempt I pleased. I had fun and learned a few things for the next time. And that is what it is all about!
Enjoy!  (you’ll see it is kinda cool )

Click The Link To See The Video
(This is a free blog  so no video posting unless I upgrade . Maybe soon but right now I am on a budget)

Time Lapse Tropical Hibiscus Blooming

Camera Manual Mode
ISO 100
White Balance fluorescent  1
Manual focus
jpg small

Timer Set to trigger camera every 20 minutes

Photolapse 3 Free Download

(Thanks to the developer Stephan van der Palen)

Program Settings

Mark every Nth frame 1

check for errors

FPS (frames Per Second) 20



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