Gizmodo Time-Lapse Video Challenge

January 18, 2011 1 comment

The Contest

Gizmodo, the site best known for buying Apple’s lost iPhone 4, just announced their first video contest.  They’ve previously offered photography contests but this is their first foray into video.  As a fitting transition, they’ve picked time-lapse as the theme.

The Prize

Nothing! Absolutely nothing!

Well, I guess the prize is a smug sense of satifisfaction and some eyeballs on your video.  But really, come on Gizmodo, throw us a bone.  You’re a big technology blog, you must have some cool stuff at the office.  Maybe you could offer that iPhone 5 prototype you probably have lying around.

The Rules

All videos must be recorded between Jan. 14 and Feb. 9, although it’s unclear how they’ll prove that.  They must then be uploaded to Gizmodo’s Vimeo group.  If you’re already on Vimeo, you can join the group now or just peruse the videos already uploaded.  All videos must be 45 sec. or shorter and free of opening titles, credits, etc.  You can read about the contest and all the rules at the official Gizmodo contest page.

Categories: Contests

11 Best Tilt Shift Videos

January 15, 2011 2 comments

What the Heck’s Tilt Shift?

I’ve mentioned tilt shift a few times on this site and even posted a couple of test videos but I’ll give a brief explanation to anyone reading this blog for the first time.  Tilt shift is a photographic technique that takes an ordinary photo and makes it look like a photo of a miniature toy set.  It does this through selective focus and color saturation.  Take enough photos and put them together using free software and you’ve got a tilt shift time-lapse video.

I’ve assembled the following videos from a range of excellent choices.  I picked them for their quality as well as their unique subject matter.  There are a few prominent names in tilt shift, such as Sam O’Hare and Keith Loutit, so I tried to limit the number of videos to one per videographer.  Enjoy!

Categories: Other people's videos

Sydney Harbor New Year’s Eve

January 14, 2011 Leave a comment

I know I’m behind on posting this clip but I thought it was still worth sharing.  It was made by a team of people working on a professional contract and it shows.

If there’s one thing in particular I’d like to point out, it’s the quality of the fireworks capture.  I tried making a fireworks time-lapse once before and failed miserably.  To make this work, the artist had to set just the right exposure length and interval.  I’d guess he shot in continuous mode and used between 2.5 and 3 sec. exposures.  This would capture every firework and not make them too choppy.  The short exposure at night without noise means he used a very good camera.  I’d guess it was a mix of a Canon 5D Mk II and a couple of slightly less expensive cameras.

Categories: Other

New York City

January 12, 2011 Leave a comment

This video was published a few days ago and it immediately grabbed my attention. The video captures the frenetic pace of NYC but it also uses a few techniques to create more dynamic images. In particular, it uses a track dolly from Dynamic Perception, the time-lapse dolly website run in part by MILapse, whom I’ve mentioned on this blog at least once before.

I’ve seen dolly time-lapse work several times before, but this is notable because it’s placed squarely in the middle of busy streets in one of the busiest cities in the world.  As someone who regularly attempts similar shoots, I can attest that these types of shots are almost impossible.  All it takes is one careless tourist to bump the tripod and the whole hour-long shot is ruined.

Other shots seem to employ cranes (or possibly a modified dolly) and editing software to create additional movement.  The people move at a consistent speed and with the right amount of blur to prevent choppy movement.  The end result is a seamless video obviously made by someone who has mastered many different time-lapse techniques.  The two shots that impressed me the most are the side view of the taxi and the day/night skyline transition.  I’ve tried both and know how tricky they can be.

Click for more of Mindrelic’s videos on Vimeo.

Categories: Other people's videos

Life-sized Gundam Mecha

January 8, 2011 Leave a comment

As every otaku knows, Gundam currently has a life-sized statue in Japan of one of its robots.  The statue looks cool but I never really gave it much attention until today.  Darwinfish105 recently made a video of the mecha that shows off its full range of lighting and effects.  Because he uses time-lapse, the statue moves faster than it would normally and looks more like the original animation.

While the video isn’t particularly groundbreaking, it shows how doing one thing well can still create a memorable video.  The clouds work well in contrast to the shiny statue and his timing and white balance are consistent throughout.  The short shots mean the clouds have more definition but it also causes the people around the statue to jump on the screen.  This is something I have to consider every time I make a video.  I don’t think there’s one clear choice between long and short exposures.

[via Gearor]

Categories: Other people's videos

Jupiter in Motion

January 5, 2011 Leave a comment

The video above is impressive enough by itself but it becomes downright astounding when you learn the creator was an amateur astronomer. Damian Peach made this video by videotaping Jupiter through a telescope. He then selected the best frames and compiled them into one time-lapse.

According to Bad Astromony, this is a common practice used to avoid atmospheric distortions.  I haven’t touched a telescope in years but I came across this same problem when I made my lunar eclipse video.  The moon looked fine in one frame but would be stretched in the next frame.

I don’t get much of a chance to view the night sky here in San Francisco or I might try this method.  Peach traveled from the UK to Barbados while Jupiter and the Earth were close in order to get such a clear capture.  It seems his dedication paid off.

Categories: Other people's videos

Mechanical Intervalometer

January 3, 2011 Leave a comment

I’ve featured a few different ways to take timed photos but this intervalometer build by Constructer is one of the most fun I’ve seen. I have to put this in the fun-but-not-very-functional catagory because I’m reasonably sure it causes some camera movement.

Constructer outlines the build on this Instructables page.  Even if this isn’t the most practical method of capturing photos, it does work with almost any digital camera.  So if nothing else works for you, why not give it a try?

Categories: Other
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