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Fun With Time-Lapse Videos

August 28th, 2012 by Ryan Ozawa · 1 Comment · Video

Last weekend’s bon dance at the Jodo Mission of Hawaii in Makiki, where I serve on the board, afforded an excellent opportunity to create a time-lapse video of the event. I used only my iPhone, the free version of the “iMotion HD” app [iTunes], and iMovie. And I was helped greatly by having access to the roof of the temple, and by having a Rokform iPhone case and tripod mount.

As a finishing touch, I placed regular-time audio from a longer clip of a live music performance as a bed below the time-lapse footage, making this my favorite (so far) of several recent forays into the fun world of time-lapse videos. I was mostly taken by how much easier they are to make using basic tools than they usually are.

This latest flurry of experimentation started during the setup for the bon dance a few weeks ago. Fellow Jodo Mission board member Ian Kitajima had set up his own iPhone time-lapse rig (as he had done last year), so on a whim, I followed suit with the first decently-rated app I found in the Apple App Store.

Happy with the results, the very next morning I headed over to Ala Moana Beach Park before work to try and capture the sunrise. Note that I even spent a few minutes doing a quick pan to capture the clouds over Kakaako:

Not content to stop there, I set up my iPhone and tripod on my dashboard the next day to capture my pre-dawn drive from Mililani to my office in Iwilei. I capped off the trip with the view from atop the parking garage at Dole Cannery (with another cloud pan):

That video prompted a fair amount of conversation among my friends about the ridiculousness of traffic in Honolulu. And a friend suggested I capture the same commute, but instead take the apparently more popular eastbound route along H-201 (a.k.a. “Red Hill”) rather than the H-1 airport viaduct. Since I wanted a new ending, I drove through downtown Honolulu and back to Ala Moana Beach Park.

Once you’ve got time-lapse on the brain, it’s hard to not come up with a hundred ideas as you go about your average day. My videos have had intervals of a few seconds at most, and The iMotion HD app lets you set intervals ranging from a second to a full day, which opens up a lot of possibilities. So I’m actually glad that I rely on my iPhone too much to leave it in one place for very long.

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