Experimenting With Time Lapse

This week I chose to create a time-lapse video to explore a new type of media production that I hadn’t tried before. And as usual, I found that there were many apps available specifically aimed at making this task easier. I think it’s interesting just how many free tools are available for anyone to use and we don’t even realize they’re out there!

I chose to use the app simply titled Time Lapse Video Recorder. I thought it would be interesting to play around with how to make an appropriate-length time lapse for a drive from Mill Creek to Chateau Ste Michelle (a drive I need to make frequently). I wanted to experiment with frame rates to see what would be appropriate for this type of video.

The app I used ended up making this incredibly easy for me. I found that in the settings I could select how long the recording was going to be (I used the estimated length of the trip from Google Maps) and then it asked how long I wanted the final video to be. I chose three minutes because I thought that would be an easily-digestible chunk of time for a short video. The trip ended up being faster than I had thought it would be, so the video ended up being much shorter than I anticipated. Luckily, a minute and a half seems like a more reasonable video length anyway. The app then formulated the appropriate frame rate for me using the specifications I put in. All I had to do was mount the tripod to my dashboard and hit record. Like I said, it was super easy!

After completing the recording (with only a few bumps along the way – literally), I found that the app allowed me to add audio and filters to the video before sharing it. This is where I saw the power of audio to be immediately apparent. The video ended up being a little stressful to watch because the frame rate makes it look like I’m a fairly reckless driver at times! It’s hard to tell when I’m slowing down and every turn looks like a turn from an action film. Pairing this with “Action Music” made the video incredibly intense. I realized it was absolutely not the feel I was going for. I then paired it with “Family Music” which added an upbeat, poppy kind of feel. This made the whole atmosphere of the video seem much more relaxed. I added this to a “faded colors” filter just to tone down the anxiety/action feel of the video. The overall effect ended up making a pleasant video with a “poppy” feel to it.

After completing this task and reflecting on my overall learning, I’m realizing as the weeks go on that I’m an increasingly critical consumer of media at this point. Just recently, I was watching a movie and I found myself caught up in the details of the film production. I was noticing the music choices, the transitions, and the purposeful camera angles. In some ways, this has ruined the relaxed movie-going experience for me! But in others, I’m realizing how purposeful every decision is in media. As I’ve had to create these different types of videos myself, it has basically pulled back the curtain on media making. I feel more critical, more informed, and more competent as a consumer and a technology user.


One thought on “Experimenting With Time Lapse

  1. professorjvg says:

    love love love this. I love how you thought of the choices, and they all seem to be excellent choices (the color to convey a different mood was brilliant).

    I’ve never understood what different frame rates will do in the quality of the video so you’ve spurred me to wonder about that.

    I so appreciate what you’ve said about “ruining” movie watching. I’m making a habit of just watching things the first time and then going back to dig into things when I’m curious about how they did something. My current binge watch series has amazing camera work, but I’ll come back to that later :).


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