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Flower blooming and wilting time lapse

Phil Rhodes

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I may have to shoot a timelapse of a flower which needs to start off fairly undeveloped, bloom, and wilt. This'll take - what - a good week, I'd have thought? The finished sequence probably only needs to be under a minute, which is 1440 frames; assuming a week that's a frame every seven minutes, though I'd be keen to shoot more than that if I can find a big enough flash card, then things which may happen unexpectedly quickly will still have enough frames.

This is likely to involve something like a Canon 7D. Needless to say, I'll need to set things up with mains power, completely consistent lighting, lenses that don't suffer iris bounce, and as much physical stability as possible - and resist the urge to poke at it.

I've shot some timelapse before, but mainly sunrises and things that take only a few hours. Naturally, given the time involved, I'm keen not to make too many schoolboy errors.

Any advice gratefully received.

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On 9/17/2022 at 5:22 PM, Stewart McLain said:

I would do some research on the life cycle of the specific flower species that you will be filming and make sure that you are truly looking at a time span of a week.  Maybe have a plan to accelerate its demise if necessary.  

That is a good idea. I'd like to see it open up from its supplied state, which will require it being in water, but if I can drain the water (without moving the flower!) it should then wilt fairly quickly.

37 minutes ago, Adrian Sierkowski said:

I wonder if something with an electronic shutter might not be better as there are no real moving parts?

Possibly, although we're sort of in a "we've got what we've got" situation.

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3 hours ago, Piotr Wołoszyk said:

What do you mean "big enough flash card"? I'd rather use laptop or something to control the process, trigger the shutter and download files directly from camera.

Yes, I would also shoot this tethered. Sony has a piece of control software called "Imaging Edge", I'm sure Canon has one too. When I'm in the studio I use tethered for anything over, say, 50 frames, that's the breakeven in effort

Everything goes down a USB lead between camera and computer straight into Adobe Lightroom if you have it. Something like the 7D will may copy to card anyway, I don't know, but it wouldn't hurt as backup.

I don't know what your stills knowledge is so it's hard to say more.

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3 hours ago, Phil Rhodes said:

I've never felt the need to tether anything

It really is a tremendous timesaver with hundreds or thousands of files. But as you say you've done timelapse before maybe you don't see the need.

This says the 7D will do it


I even used freeware originally. The 7D has been at the top of the tree for a long time so I'd be surprised if you couldn't.

As I said it depends on the software, but if you're using Lightroom it will import all your images, apply develop presets and make previews on its own. 


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