Time lapse photography
Time lapse photography is a lot of fun and its a really good way to capture processes that happen at slow speeds in the garden that can easily pass you by. Amongst other things, I've been using it to record how the sunlight and shadows move across the garden at different times of year to help plan planting in different areas. I've also tried to capture processes such as rhubarb emerging in the spring, fruit trees coming into flower as well as some of the decomposers in action. I've put a few of these in the blog and a wider range on my YouTube channel here as well as some links to some other forest gardening related videos.
Practical ways to record time lapse movies
I've experimented with a few different ways of making time lapse movies over the since January 2010. Probably the easiest is the Brinno Gardenwatchcam which is the best choice I have found where the camera needs to be outdoors. It is easy to use as well since you just set the interval and it saves the movie direct to a flash drive. I've also used a great mobile phone application, right through to a digital SLR with an external intervalometer when I need more control. However, the method I use the most is a low-cost Canon A470 loaded with CHDK and a power supply. I put the frames together into a movie with Photolapse 3. You can compare the output from these different methods here.
It took me a while to work out an efficient way of putting together time lapse movies. I've made a list of the steps I use here. I've also put in a note of caution about not wearing out your camera shutter.
Capturing a successful time lapse movie takes a little bit of pre-planning to work out the best timing between shots etc. I have put together a simple calculator that takes into account the duration of the process, hours of daylight and the final duration of the movie.