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Fortune favours the prepared.
I was asked to complete a special project for iPolitics.ca last week, budget day, a bit out of what you normally see me display on the blog. While I was there taking pictures, the quantity asked of me far exceeded any shoot I had previously undertaken. I was to document the busiest day of politics on Parliament hill, and, likely, the fall of the Harper Government, all on timelapse.
Now this wasn’t a camera in the house of commons, no, this was going to be the Media area, busier than it is at any other time of year. I shot the timelapse as wide as I could, and when some space opened to me, I popped on the fisheye lens and captured it even wider.
Time lapses are, fundamentally, quite easy. You set up your camera, have it take a photo at certain intervals, compile them together and *pop* out comes a video. The planning and implementation is where you really need to focus. How long the final video is to be will determine how many frames you capture at what interval, or even how smooth you want the action to appear. You also have to worry about running out of memory, or battery power while on the shoot (the above video was captured from 1:50pm to about 9pm that same day). If you’re a Nikon shooter you can do this all in camera, or if you’re a poor sap like me, shooting Canon, you’ll need an accessory like the TC80N3 Timer Remote
, or one of these awesome little devices from Pclix. If planning on timelapses only, the Pclix was a lifesaver – super easy to use, Canadian made, and programmable with some very interesting options.
I picked up a Canon 60D which proved to be quite an asset in this case. I had the camera mounted high over my head, but I was able to check on it, occasionally, due to the pivoting LCD. The battery itself was able to last about 8,000 actuations – 1/50th a second or so – on a single charge. Did I have a backup? Yes. But I didn’t need it. Very impressed with this little “prosumer” camera, the hype has put it down, but as a Canon shooter I think this guy’s worth a look, especially if you’re entering the market, or just upgrading from the entry level Rebel line.
If you have your own budget day stories leave a comment! Or if you want to see a few more photos from Budget Day – head on over to my Flickr page.