An Experiment – Sports Timelapse

Readers of this little piece of the web will know that I don’t typically write about my own projects. But for this one, I think I’m going to make an exception.

For a while I’ve been wanting to do a timelapse video of a hockey game. I wanted to see how it might come out. If it worked, the possibilities for combining timelapse, regular video and stills into a multimedia highlight package might be interesting.

After trying a couple different avenues to get it done, I was recently able to get permission to shoot some games at a big major midget tournament in Mississauga. Thanks to the OHL and the Mississauga St. Michael’s Majors for their help and cooperation!

While the project didn’t work out as I had initially envisioned, it was definitely an interesting intellectual exercise.

To avoid having to change memory cards, I decided to shoot tethered to my laptop, capturing through Lightroom 3 and using a Phottix Nikos release as the intervalometer.  Captured at 1 second intervals using a shutter speed of 1/250 @ f4 & ISO 1600.  Another time, I’d drop the shutter speed a bit.  Shooting tethered turned out not to be the best option.  Transfer speed of the images to the computer was slow and while I never got caught with a full buffer that stopped the camera, the transfer of images lagged substantially behind which made changing settings difficult.  It also drains the batteries of both the camera and the laptop quickly.  Shooting with large capacity memory cards is the way to go.

I knew that I’d have some issues with the lighting in the arena in terms of flicker due to a mismatch between the frequency of the lights and my shutter speed.  What I was a bit more surprised at was the colour shift during the cycling of the lights that made colour correcting the shots very difficult.  The shutter speed/lighting frequency issue can likely be dealth with.  I’m not as sure about the colour shift issues.

The clip is below.  Click on the arrows beside the HD logo to take it to full screen and turn scaling to OFF for best quality.  Have a look and would love to hear feedback.  Anyone else done anything like this or know of anything similar?  I’d love to hear about that too as I’m not aware of it.





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