Corporate Photography - Long Term Time Lapse / by Denny Henry

Instagram photo of camera install.

Instagram photo of camera install.

If you follow me on Instagram, you may have seen a photo of my latest time lapse camera after I installed it at The Corcoran. 

The camera is currently recording the student installation of a Sol LeWitt mural in The Corcoran's atrium. What makes this time lapse different from previous ones I've produced is it's duration. In the past when I've produced a time lapse, it's run for a few hours up two a few days. This recording will run for somewhere between two and three weeks. Obviously this adds some complexity and uncertainty to the recording. The two biggest challenges I faced when setting this up, were the need to keep the camera running for a long period, and preventing the setup from being disturbed while recording. 

Part of my solution was to find a dedicated time lapse camera that can record the entire time. The camera I'm using is made by Brinno and will be able to run for weeks without changing memory cards or batteries. It will also automatically start recording in the morning and stop in the evening. This will save tons if time later, as I won't have to edit out all the night scenes where nothing is happening. 

The second (and more difficult) portion of my solution was to find a way to place the camera where it needed to be and minimize the chances of it being disturbed. Normally I would just clamp the camera to a railing, window sill, or other immovable object. This works fine for short periods, but since this is going to be sitting un-attended for weeks, I wanted something a little less conspicuous and more protected. I don't want a kid to come by and press all the buttons half way through recording. My solution was to build a wooden box to hold the whole setup. My goal was to build something similar to the pedestals that are common in musuems. The box protects the camera from being messed with, and the 30 lbs of sand bags in the bottom to stop it from being bumped out of place. 

The video below is a time lapse I made of the box construction. It was my way of testing my new camera.   I'm happy with how the enclosure turned out, especially since I had to complete the entire project (including paint) in a single day. 

Time lapse of building the enclosure for the time lapse camera.