Grass growing time lapse

When I decided to grow the Chelsea Lawn, I thought it would be cool to do a time lapse because, as I’d recently discovered with our little Santa rye grass pot, rye grass grows quickly.

This is my first photographic time lapse and, although it’s not as cool as I was hoping it would be, it was still a fun and relatively easy project. All I did was setup our Canon Rebel XT on a tripod, hooked the camera up to my computer with a 10′ USB cable and set OS X’s Image Capture (I don’t know why Apple doesn’t tout this little handy application) to shoot a frame at 5 minute intervals. I’d click ‘Start’ in Image Capture at around 8 a.m., go about my day and then click ‘Stop’ around 5:30 p.m. Then I simply dragged that day’s photos into iMovie to build up my movie comprised of over 1,000 images over the course of 5 days.

A few things I learned that are worth noting:

  1. A photographic time lapse of grass growing probably only requires a frame every 10-30 minutes. On my first two days, I’d set Image Capture to shoot a frame every minute. It wasn’t until the 3rd day that I changed it to shoot a frame every 5 minutes.
  2. This time lapse probably would’ve worked better had I shot in landscape versus portrait.
  3. If possible, connect the camera to an external power source if the shot sequence is going to extend beyond the capacity of your battery or batteries. The shifting of the frame from day to day in this video is due to my having to move the camera to swap out batteries.
  4. Manually focus on the subject of the time lapse for a consistent focal point.
  5. Rye grass grows quite a bit overnight.

Watch the video here:

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