Friday 5th April 2013 – Time Lapse Photography – Hugh Rooney


The awe-inspiring wonder of a snowdrop opening its face to the morning sun or the menacing vision of dark storm clouds racing across a threatening sky are sights which can only be appreciated properly with the benefit of time-lapse photography.

The procedure whereby a still picture is taken at intervals and then the sequence is projected at cinema speed has been used with dramatic effect by naturists like Sir David Attenborough in his many award-winning wildlife television programmes.  In the past it was a long tricky operation but with the benefit of modern technology it is now well within the compass of the amateur photographer.

On Friday night Hugh Rooney treated the members of Bangor and North Down Camera Club to a selection of wonderful examples of how landscapes and cityscapes can be given an extra,spectacular dimension using this method.

Under the photographers’ guidance The Northern Lights appeared to dance across a twilight sky and myriads of stars described graceful arcs above a darkened earth. New York taxis performed a mad Formula One dash around the skyscrapers of Manhattan and snowfall on the Rockies in Canada thawed and melted into rushing rivers in seconds under the magic manipulation of the photographers’ skill.

Hugh demonstrated the basics of the procedure by leaving his own camera on time-lapse mode during the first half of the meeting and then encapsulating the five hundred or so shots into a seven second burst of frenetic action. He then demonstrated the basic skills and equipment required to make an entry level start before continuing to show more examples of the sophisticated end products of the top exponents of the art.

Some have spent weeks and months in  mountains and deserts, capturing thousands of images from which to condense and distil  finished products lasting   mere minutes. However advances  in technology have made it possible to achieve a basic form of time-lapse using a smart phone and relevant software and Hugh’s excellent presentation offered a challenge to the  members to try something new and exciting.

John Bennett

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