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Time Lapses

What is Time-Lapse Photography?

Time-lapse photography is a cinematography technique where the frequency at which film frames are captured (the frame rate) is much lower than the frequency used to view the sequence. When played back at normal speed, time appears to be moving faster, thus lapsing. This technique allows us to observe events that happen over a long period in a much shorter timeframe, revealing patterns and processes that are not noticeable in real-time.

In time-lapse photography, images are captured at regular intervals, which can range from fractions of a second to minutes or even hours, depending on the subject and the duration of the event being recorded. For example, capturing the blossom of Allium requires taking a photo every 5 minutes.

When these captured frames are played back at a standard video playback rate (typically 24, 25, or 30 frames per second), the effect is that time appears to move rapidly. For instance, if you take one photo every 5 minutes and then play back the sequence at 30 frames per second, one second of playback will represent 30 minutes of real-time.

Imagine capturing the blooming of Allium flowers over several days. Allium flowers, known for their striking spherical blooms and tall stems, offer a captivating subject for time-lapse photography. The most dramatic part of the Allium's life cycle is the blooming phase. The buds slowly open, revealing the intricate structure of the flower within. Petals unfurl in a sequence, creating a spectacular visual display. The time-lapse shows the transformation from a compact bud to a full, spherical bloom made up of numerous small flowers, often taking on vibrant hues of purple, pink, or white.

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