Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Monona Sliding

This week is featuring two timelapses using the DigiSlider motion controlled system. They were taken with various ND Filters combined with the Nikkor 18-55 and Sigma 10-20mm lenses.  The music featured in the #TimelapseTuesday today is by Kris Rickaby, the full song is embedded below check it out!

I'm so incredibly pumped about this one because the motion controlled slider my wife got me for my birthday finally arrived!  In this video you may notice the camera moving, this is not an effect I did in post production rather the camera physically moved during the entire shot.  To help understand what it is I used my GoPro to film the behind the scenes of the setup of each timelapse.

The DigiSlider is a motion controlled system with a move-shoot-move controller.  It may sound complicated but the its purpose is simple.  I program into the remote how far to move during each interval and how long it will take to snap each picture.  It starts by taking a picture, once the picture is taken it moves X distance, stops, takes a picture, and repeat over and over until it hits the end.  It can go from one end to the other in as fast as 10 minutes or as slow as 24 hours.

You may not be as pumped as I am about this but this will hopefully add another dynamic to my timelapses and really help capture the scene in each video.  Recently I've been talking alot about framing of the timelapses, and with a slider framing becomes significantly more important.  In the first timelapse of the capitol this is very obvious in 2 ways.  The beginning the camera starts in the log and slides out of the log revealing the captiol.  It appears to move very quickly then when the log is fully out of view it feels like it slows down.  This is because there is nothing close by to give you a frame of reference for how far the camera is moving.  The second timelapse has parts of the log always in frame and during the entire shot you can easily sense the motion.

Thoughts and What's Next?
I shot these timelapses on Saturday and stumbled into an awesome location.  The original plan was to shoot the capitol from a distance using my telescoping lens.  I went to Pleasant View golf course, I could easily see the capitol however with all the snow I just wasn't feeling the setup.  Olin park looking over the frozen lake Monona was my second option.  As I approached the park I quickly noticed all of the ice fishermen and felt that if I could be at a distance and capture both the fishermen and the capitol it might add some more movement.  As I was walking along the frozen lake I noticed a fallen tree which had been rotted out in the middle creating an awesome spot to put my camera.  Finding a way to clear out the snow and prop the slider up correctly took more time than expected and once it started rolling I was happy with the framing.  While it was shooting I realized that using my wide angle lens and capturing the inside of the log and the lake would make for a cool second perspective.

What's next...warm weather!  Hopefully the frigid cold is behind us and I can start to get out in Madison and capture some unique timelapses.  I'm also going to be working on a second half to this blog.  It will focus on editing techniques, GoPro mounts, GoPro settings, and other useful tips for people looking to get started.  I would love to hear what you would like to have featured so leave some comments with suggestions, more to come!

Still balding but not bald,

Twitter & Instagram: @kylelawso
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  1. Have you ever watched House of Cards. It's a TV series on Netflix, and they do time lapses at the beginning of each episode. I'm not sure if you have used the same methods as them, but I though I'd let ya know!

    1. I've heard a lot about that show, I'll need to check it out. Maybe I can try to reproduce them one week?! Thanks Matt!