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A fun project to keep the creative juices flowing during lockdown

26 Oct 2021 5:16 PM | Amber Wakefield (Administrator)

Mark Lapwood NZCS ACS has loved experimenting with timelapse photography for over 10 years, so about a week into lockdown he got his game on, decided to clear out the garage and turn it into a controlled lighting environment to film seeds sprouting in timelapse.

The idea was to have a controlled lighting situation, so the light remains consistent for as many days as it takes for the seeds to sprout.

I blacked out a small space and set up one LED panel as a three-quarter back light, with a couple of small white balance boards for fill. 

To shoot I used two Canon DSLR’s an old school 6D & 70D, one as a wider shot on about a 35mm lens and one as a close up with a 100mm macro. 

After some experimentation and many calculations I set my intervalometer to take one shot every 90 seconds over a period of about five days.

Then I got my hands dirty and planted whole lot of radish seeds in seed raising mix on a plate and put it in my little studio space. 

The challenge of watering these seeds so they keep growing introduced a problem, because if I sprayed them every time they would jump in the final shot. 

So my solution was to use a syringe and gently inject water around the outside of the plate in areas that were outside the frame. 

Another challenge was the issue of camera power running out, and space running out on SD cards. Because every time I would have to touch the camera there’s the risk of bumping the shot. Fortunately I managed to find an old power supply for my Canon SLR, so that enabled the camera to stay on for many days as needed. 

And I used the largest SD card I could get my hands on, 256 gb.

All in all I shot three varieties of seeds, Radish, Rocket and Beetroot, the longest went for five days with a total of 5770 frames! 

The most delicate part of the entire operation was the daily checkups morning and night see if ‘my babies’, had enough water, checking batteries and cards without bumping anything. I did clip a tripod on my way out of the tiny little space on one occasion which required a bit of time in after effects sorting the glitch.

On the whole the results are mesmerising! What creative projects have you been up to during lockdown? Would you care to share in the next newsletter? If so please email Amber Wakefield on: eo@nzcine.com We’d love to see your creative pursuits!

Below are some pix of behind the scenes to enjoy.

You can also view the 'Radish seeds growing time-lapse' here.

~ Thanks, Mark Lapwood NZCS ACS


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