Try This Time-Lapse Idea with Your iPhone

by Barrett

I’ve found numerous opportunities over the past couple of years to shoot slow motion videos with my iPhone. (My six-year-old boy usually moves so fast… it’s often fun to slow some of that down.) But time lapse? Not so much.

In fact, I’ve rarely attempted time lapse. Part of the challenge is you’ve got to plan for it, and it’s going to take you some time to capture.
(That’s the whole point.)

Imagine my glee when I spontaneously generated a time-lapse sequence over the weekend during one of my more mundane of chores… recycling cans and bottles at my local Stew Leonard’s supermarket.

The new variable this time was my son had accompanied me…

What makes this 28-second movie more than the sum of its parts is the fact that my first grader took over all of the heavy lifting.
(I quickly realized I was just along for the ride.)

Take a look at the top of this post!

DIY Tripod
Being an observer for fifteen minutes allowed me the opportunity to try this time lapse.

The hard part was figuring out where to put my iPhone without a tripod. I ended up propping it up against a two by four near the ground, hoping it wouldn’t fall over.

Repetition is the Key
I think this movie is fun because it magnifies repetition to tell its story…
What is boring in normal time is something entirely different sped up.
(Though it’s clear my son was not particularly bothered by the challenge of popping over 300 cans and bottles into the recycling machines. I suppose it didn’t hurt that I told him he could keep all of the redeemed nickels for his piggy bank.)

My difficulty with time lapse to date has been my limited belief that time lapse is supposed to show something grand that’s playing out very slowly.
(You just can’t do that in the moment without some planning.)

Something like this turns that equation on its head. Now we’re looking for repeating, ‘simple’ moments to capture that are anything but grand.

But by collecting the sum of them, you’re creating more of a ‘point of view.’

Now that’s interesting.
(And if you find this obvious, please cut me some slack. We all learn at our own pace!)

Lots of Cans
You might be wondering…
Why so many cans and bottles?

One word – seltzer.
My family loves the stuff.
(But to be fair, I was long overdue for this recycling trip. This represented all of our summer seltzer fun.)

Find More Time Lapse in Your Life
So keep an open mind as you traverse your day to day.
If you find yourself thankfully sidelined during an otherwise mundane series of moments, that series could have some fun visual value as a time-lapse video.

Try it out!