Recently I was asked to make a time-lapse video during the creation of Susan Stockwell’s art installation at Hall Place, Bexley.
The installation – Trade Winds – would be made from thousands of coins on which would ‘float’ small ships made with paper money from around the world. I was aware that the installation could take up most of the floor space in the room which was about 8 x 10 metres so the first thing to sort out was where to put the camera. A tripod wasn’t an option as the chances of it being moved by accident were high but luckily there was a small lighting rail on the ceiling which I could use to hang a lightweight camera. I mounted the GX8 with a small clamp – backed up with Gaffa tape and a safety chain just in case the clamp and tape didn’t hold.
I used a 7.5mm Samyang Lens to cover the whole floor with the intention of cropping into the frame for the best coverage of Susan’s work.
The camera has a very good built-in intervalometer which is very easy to set up to shoot a series of images. I shot RAW still frames and didn’t use the in camera conversion to movie (quite frankly the conversion in camera is not very good). I processed the RAW frames in Capture One so I could output as jpegs which were then imported into Premiere Pro. I could then crop the full frame images as necessary to the 16:9 format.
It all worked pretty well and was used as both a standalone time-lapse and also as part of a longer video about the installation.
The only real issue I had was with the battery life which lasted about 180 minutes, maybe a little more. Shooting about 3 frames a minute gave me around 600 frames or so depending on which battery was used. The installation progressed over 5 days so I would be away for much of the time, going in when I could to change batteries. Sometimes the battery died before I could get in to replace it so there are a couple of points where the time-lapse moves on slightly quicker than it should but overall I think it works.
Susan Stockwell’s work can be seen on Su’s website.