Time-lapse photography with Callum Whiteley
UK-based videographer behind 24 Hours on the Galata Bridge, Callum Whiteley, shares his top three techniques when shooting movies: shooting time-lapses, using DSLR camera rigs and creating transitions for easy editing.
Creating and shooting a time-lapse movie
If you want to portray the passing of time in a movie, a good way to do it by using time-lapse photography, where you set your camera in one spot to take a series of photos over a period of time. I took my new Konova motion control set-up with me to Istanbul to create a time-lapse video using my Canon EOS 5D Mark III.
The time-lapse in Galata Bridge was shot using the Smart Motion system.Although the wiring and initial setup of a time-lapse video requires a bit of work, once you’re up and running you can grab a decent six-to-seven second time-lapse in around 10 minutes.
I had the camera set to travel down the track in 3mm increments, taking a photo every three seconds and I would aim to capture around 200 frames at each spot, while scoping out the next and planning my next sequence.
Including some foreground detail in your frame is always useful, as you can lose the sense of motion without anything up front to give you some perspective.Travelling through a window, along some railings, or over the edge of a building are always interesting angles that will keep your time-lapse movie looking exciting.
When capturing 24 Hours on the Galata Bridge, the traffic lights at the busy junction made the perfect spot to show everyone entering the bridge on their busy commute. It had plenty of vertical objects to travel against, and also included the clouds which were due to break around sunrise.
Once you’ve captured your footage as RAW images, you’ll need to edit and compile them using software such as After Effects. Shooting in RAW format means you have all extra resolution to play with. As the Istanbul time-lapse already has some horizontal movement, I wanted to accent it with some scale and a slight pan in the opposite direction.
Lastly, you should always be prepared for a weather change while shooting your time-lapse. I wasn’t! In Istanbul and had to buy some tissues from a passing tea seller to clean my lens.