Time lapse at night

You can’t beat a bit of time lapse for creating impact in a video. It’s an effect that can be used very effectively to portray the passage of time in a production or simply to add a bit of production value. Much of the time lapse footage I’ve shot is available on istock although in many cases, like the one featured here, because of licensing restrictions, the final clips cannot be made available commercially.

This video of the fireworks in Carcassonne on Bastille Day was shot from a field above the old city – about half a mile a way – using my Canon 7D with a 70-200mm f2.8 lens on a fairly heavy duty gorillapod with a TC-80N3 intervalometer attached. It was a spectacular display, which I enjoyed along with my partner and an excellent picnic with some fine wine. The main problem I had was that the lens was a bit too long for the gorillapod to cope with and so each time the shutter mechanism moved, so too did the lens – only slightly, but at that distance the effect was just noticeable.

Back then I hadn’t heard of warp stabiliser, or coremelt’s ‘lock and load’ so I went through each frame in after effects attempting to lock them into the correct position. It was a very dull process but I had some good music on and got lost in my own little world for a bit. Hopefully you like the results.

Rob King

After Effects editor
Rob King


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