RoadRUNNER Digital Rider

How Long Does it Take to Break Down a Campsite?

Jun 26, 2012 View Comments by

On last fall’s trip to the Pennsylvania Wilds, I timed how long it took to break down my campsite. After several days of doing it, I got pretty fast – it took one minute and eleven seconds! Watch:

Ok, I lied. It took much longer than that. My DSLR (Pentax K-5) has a time-lapse mode, also known as an intervalometer, which I used to create this video. I placed the camera on a tripod and set it to take a photo every 5 seconds. Later, I brought the photos into Final Cut Pro X – a video editing tool – and added music. A little clicking here, a little clicking there, an upload to YouTube, and voila!

If you’re interested in trying this yourself, the first thing you need is a camera that can shoot time lapse (Intervalometer). Very few have the feature built in – Pentax, Ricoh, and maybe a couple of others have built-in intervalometers. With many DSLRs and other advanced cameras, you can attach an external intervalometer via the remote cable release plug (try Googling “Nikon DSLR intervalometer” or “Olympus camera intervalometer” to see what’s available). If you have a Canon Powershot point and shoot and some computing skills, you may be able to hack your camera and add an intervalometer via the Canon Hack Development Kit (CHDK). Warning: only try the CHDK if you are comfortable with the risk. If you break your camera, don’t blame me. I told you so.

Once you’re home, there are a number of programs you can use to create your time-lapse movie. On a Mac, you can use iMovie (included with your computer) to create your time lapse. There are also inexpensive programs in the App store like Time-Lapse that will work. Time-Lapse is very easy to use – point the program to the folder where your photos are, adjust some basic settings, and click “Make Movie”. There are many programs available on Windows as well. I haven’t tested them, but check out Sky Studio Pro and Movie Composer.

The new POV cameras from Contour and DriftHD also offer time-lapse modes along with software to put it all together when you get home. So get out there and play!

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About the author

You know that little boy who stares at you, mouth agape, as you ride by? That was me, thirty-plus years ago. I merged two of my passions, motorcycles and photography, when I became a contributor to RoadRUNNER.