THE OAHU TIME LAPSE FILM

Jul 6, 2016

With 30 days left on the Island of Oahu, Hawaii I decided to create a lasting memory with a time lapse movie featuring some of my favorite spots.

TEXT BY JACKSON GROVES  //  VIDEO BY JACKSON GROVES

This post contains some affiliate links but all opinions remain my own.

 

With 30 days left on the Island of Oahu, Hawaii I decided to create a lasting memory with a time lapse movie featuring some of my favorite spots.

One month ago I had no idea what it would take to shoot a time lapse video and no idea about any of the techniques I would have to learn. I found out that I could download the Sony PlayMemories application directly onto my Sony a7ii Mirrorless Camera.

This app is definitely an amazing addition and only cost me $9.99 (This is not a sponsored post, I just really love this little app). It allows you to shoot a time lapse and customize everything on your camera screen without the need for an intervalometer.

My first time lapse was at the Waikiki Harbor and I actually included it in the video. I really enjoyed the hour of anticipation and the time it gave me to relax and really take in the setting. When I take regular photos I often look around quite a lot but when you are forced to look at one scene for an hour you can remember all of the details even months later and appreciate the beauty of each location.

I deemed the first time lapse a success and decided I would try and capture as many scenes from around the island of Oahu, Hawaii and create a short movie showing the natural beauty of the place to the rest of the world.

I happened to receive a Motorized Panoramic Time Lapse Tripod Head – Movo MTP-10, which allowed me to pan across a scene. I found this contraption allowed me to capture more of a scene but was unable to master it to create a smooth pan.

One of the issues I had during my filming was the fact that my tripod was a lightweight carbon fiber tripod. This meant that it was at risk of shaking during the filming which is visible in the final product. Ideally I would have a steady, heavier tripod but the travel life doesn’t allow that. Many of the scenes I filmed took place on a multi-day moped road trip. Other scenes were filmed at the top of 6-hour long hikes.

The holy grail of time lapse photography is a day to night shot. This shows the transition of the day to the night with lights coming on or stars coming out in the dark. It is the holy grail due to the difficulty and the complication of picking the right settings for both scenes. I tried several times and had slight success with a couple of scenes but it definitely was hard.

One of the biggest obstacles for me was the changing weather on Oahu, Hawaii. While the constant flow of clouds was great for capturing the time lapse, there were times when there were small showers coming over me and the camera. In many instances I had to wipe the lens in between each shot, which almost certainly would have caused a shaky final product. I have now purchased a small hood for the camera and a cover so that I can let it shoot ,even in light rain. The hood and cover were less than $20 but may allow me to capture some rain and weather movements in tough conditions.

It is great to have a steady tripod in bad weather conditions but for someone like me who does a lot of hiking, it can’t be too heavy. I tried to pick the strongest but lightest tripod. I think I ended up choosing something that works for my adventurous lifestyle.

Time lapse requires patience and the ability to sit, watch and enjoy a landscape or cityscape. It sounds easier than it is. To film a 10 second clip I had to prepare the gear (20 minutes), decide on location and get to the location (10-60 minutes), set up at the location (15 minutes), shoot at the location, (45-90 minutes), pack up and return home (30-60 minutes). Before even opening the file to edit, a ten second time lapse can take between 2-4 hours (not including hiking or trekking) to capture.

The Sony A7ii Camera that I use:


I knew even before I began developing this new skill, that this would be a hobby with a small but worthwhile product at the end of countless hours of work. It is rewarding to produce a piece of work that I hadn’t seen created on a large scale before, on the island. While there are many photographers and videographers far more capable than myself,the time and effort required to create 4 minutes of time lapse after shooting over 50 scenes in a month, is unrealistic for most people.

In the future I think I would like to shoot time lapse a little less constantly but it is definitely a form of photography that I would like to consistently refine.
I have shot time lapse photography for 1 month and have been taking regular photographs for 1 year.

I am a beginner and would love to hear any advice you can offer after viewing any of my work, including this time lapse. I would also love to hear any stories, issues or tips you have had, about your time lapse experiences.

Click HERE to view my 25 Favorite Photos of Oahu.

Comments

comments

Related Posts

6 Comment to this post

  1. Shayan says:

    Really good job mate. I saw your snaps and it was a wonder to watch

  2. An amazing quality video. You must have worked hard to get these shots and it absolutely paid off. You captured the island’s beauty in all the right places and now I want to buy a ticket and go! x

    • Jackson & Jessie says:

      Hi Charlotte. Yes definitely a lot of work but had a blast doing it. Go for it Hawaii is amazing!

  3. Ah…beautiful footage and epic video!! Nicely done!!

    I went to Maui for the first time in Sept and was in awe of the beauty there. I’m a musician in San Diego and I filmed a bunch on my gopro and iphone (super low budget, lol) with the intention of having stock footage for my music videos. It would’ve been great to also have time lapse capability, specially the sunrise at Haleakala. You’ve inspired me to go back much sooner, with your low-budget equipment suggestions, and make it happen. Mahalo 😀

    If you ever looking for new music for your videos, check out my life’s work: gabrielabuenaonda.com. Bless

  4. Jackson & Jessie says:

    Hey Gabriela. Oh awesome ill give it a listen. Yeah gopro time lapse are good too and easy to set up while you take other photos, enjoy dinner or what not.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *