Time Lapse Photography – Raising Awareness Of Our Endangered Planet

Some things happen slowly, and whilst the natural world is awash with the instant spectacle, from a cloud burst to a volcanic eruption, other processes and transformations occur at a pace, which takes time to unfold.


If we wish to witness such processes we would have to fix our attention for lengthy periods of time, and like fingers moving on a clock, the gradual changes would be imperceptible. That is why, for those wishing to document and display the passage of events in the natural world, Time Lapse Photography can be very useful indeed.

Most people have seen a ‘time lapse’. It’s where a series of photographs are taken from a fixed point at prescribed intervals and then the individual shots or frames are edited together. When played out at around 25 frames per second, the affect is to condense time to show lengthy processes acted out in a fraction of real time. It has been used to show caterpillars turning into butterflies, the rotting of animal and vegetable matter, plants growing, the bursting of flowers into bloom, or the passage of the weather and the seasons. However, it has also started to be used to raise awareness of the perils that threaten our planet.


We sometimes deny that the ice caps are melting or that the Amazonian rain forests are disappearing or coastlines in precious parts of the world are being eroded by rising sea levels. Indeed, it is easier to deny them when the processes unfolding – just like the hand of the clock are occurring at barely perceptible rates.


However, time Time Lapse shatters the illusion of stasis and helps raise our awareness of what is really occurring to our planet. Film-makers, naturalists and environmentalists are using the technique to document and learn about what is occurring and the rate at which it is happening. But, at the same time, they are also using the results from time lapse movies to inform a public; that all too often is in denial, or willing to put such issues to the back of their minds.

Seeing such processes unfold more immediately and having such processes demonstrated, makes the message that our planet is undergoing perilous changes, less easy to avoid or to deny. Technology has made this possible. Particularly advances is the capability of cameras and the ability to network and transfer large quantities of digital data coupled with the robustness of camera housing set-ups, means that specialists can install unmanned, remotely controlled time lapse systems ‘in the field’ in extremes of conditions and for lengthy periods of time.


It is great to see that technology – as well as being blamed for many of the planet’s woes – can also take some credit for raising awareness of them.

People Photos, Photography

People Photos – Techniques and Tips to Make the Best Ones Ever

People Photos require many of the skills used in other types of photography. However, as in other photography, the results have more to do with what the photographer does than the camera used.

Making Good People Photos Depends on Good Orientation

First let us talk about camera positioning. You might be accustomed to using the camera in the landscape position, but think about it. Like the name implies, this positioning is for landscapes. The only time this orientation is for people is when they are in a group.


The only other time the landscape mode should be used is when you get in close enough to get a shoulder shot or if you want to include something else in the shot. It’s a matter of composition.


Making Good People Photos Depends on Good Framing

Get in close. Generally speaking you should fill the frame with your subject. To do this you will need to get in close enough so that the subject is cut off at the waist, and there is little space above his head.


If you wish to photograph the subject full length from some reason, do so but do not include anything distracting in the frame. The subject has to have something behind him, but make sure it is a plain background. A cloudy sky makes a good background, but do not include shots in bright sunshine unless you are familiar with how to handle the brightness.


You should make sure that anything is the background is bland and unable to distract from the subject. For instance, if you choose the wall of a building as a background get in close so only the wall is in the frame. Otherwise you can use a zoom lens and focus so that the background is blurred.

Making Good People Photos Requires Avoiding Harsh Shadows

If you are photographing under cloudy skies shadows will not be much of a concern. If you are under sunlight the colors will be better, but then you will have to deal with the shadows. The best way to eliminate shadows on the face is to have the subject look toward the sun.


If your shadow gets into the frame, have the subject look in the direction of the sun without looking directly into it. You will need to position yourself accordingly.


You could instead shoot with the light in the background of the subject so that his entire face is in shade and expose accordingly. Of course the subject cannot be directly in front of the sun as glare would be a problem.

Making Good People Photos Depends on Good Camera Position

Now let us consider the elevation of the camera with respect to the subject. The most neutral position is to have the camera be exactly on the level of the eyes. Another good position is slightly below eve level. The level of the camera can have a large impact on the appearance of the eyes and face. Ideally, shoot at more than one level to be able to choose the one that gives the look you desire.


The position of the subject himself affects the quality of the shot. Instead of always shooting head-on walk around the subject until you find the best position. Some people have a “good” side, usually one that makes them look slimmer. Shoot them from their “good” side.