2013—Grand Canyon Time Lapse

Hurray! Huzzah! At last!! I finally have a time lapse video.

On the Grand Canyon photo shoot in February, Moose Peterson encouraged us to shoot time lapse sequences. My Nikon D800 has a built-in intervalometer which allows the user to set the camera on a tripod and shoot a series of photographs at specified intervals for a specified period of time. We were all excited to see the results of our time lapse sequences but sadly, I was the only participant who failed to get the time lapse sequence to work properly after post processing. I tried it again a couple of days later. Again, with no results. I inquired of Moose about it but didn’t have him review my attempts. I tried several times upon my return to get the time lapse up and running, but again, no luck. Moose sent out a post workshop e-mail with specific instructions for me to create the time lapse. Again, nothing. I stopped trying after a couple of weeks due to a combination of frustration and annoyance. In addition, Famous Mo’s was about to open so I set the project aside until yesterday when I had some time. I took a few minutes to review Moose’s instructions. I did everything correctly, but, my unfamiliarity with Photoshop was actually my undoing. Only yesterday did I see the attempted results in the Layers view, where I should have been all along but wasn’t. If I had been, I would have discovered while I was still in the Grand Canyon, that my version of Photoshop, CS5.1, does not support video; only CS 5.1 Extended (and later versions) does. A tiny dialog box popped up to tell me I couldn’t do it even though it allowed every other step that made it seem as if I were going to produce an actual video.

There had to be another way to create time lapse video and it occurred to me that using the Slide Show feature in Lightroom could be the answer, and it was. After a few false starts, I found a Lightroom preset that allowed me to show 15 frames per second in a slide show. I saved it as a high resolution file and am thrilled that I finally have one of two time lapse sequences that I took in the canyon. Now I can’t wait to process the other sequence.

I took this time lapse starting late in the afternoon of February 24. The camera took the first shot at 4:19PM and the last shot at 6:26PM. This sequence was a long time coming. And because I saved it as a high resolution file, it took almost as much time to save the file as it did to take the photographs. The next project is to set this to music. . .Ferde Grofé’s Grand Canyon Suite perhaps? It’s too bad I didn’t photograph any donkeys ambling down into the canyon which would have fit perfectly with the Donkey Serenade movement of the Suite. On the snowiest and wettest day of our workshop, we did see a miserable looking group of tourists, all dressed in yellow slickers and perched atop jerking donkeys as they headed down into the canyon abyss, hanging on for dear life and probably praying that those donkeys were sure-footed enough to keep them safe. No one from our group took a photograph of them.