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|| SportsShooter.com: News Item: Posted 2006-04-28

Gone in 90 seconds
Time-lapse movie shot at the Cardinals home opener at the new Busch Stadium

By Huy Richard Mach, St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Photo by

These scree shots give a preview of the time-lapse movie of the new Busch Stadium.
A few weeks ago, the St. Louis Cardinals played their home opener at the newly constructed Busch Stadium. The Cardinals have a loyal following in the area, highlighted by successes in recent post-season appearances and star players like Albert Pujols.

In addition to the comprehensive print coverage of the game and the stadium, we wanted to offer something extra for our emerging online viewers. I have to say, this is not an original idea, but what really is?

One of our photographers had seen a time lapse movie done by another paper, and suggested that this could be a fun time use the same technique. We got some starting advice from them and then catered it to our needs.

The execution is simple, but the process is time consuming. This is a list of the gear I used:

1. Canon 1D body
2. 14mm wide angle lens
3. Pocket Wizard Multi Max
4. Magic Arm
5. Software: iPhoto, iMovie, Flash
6. 2 GB CF card

About three hours before the start of the game, I secured the camera onto a railing at the upper concourse area, attached the Pocket Wizard, and set the "Intervalometer" on the remote to trigger the shutter every 30 seconds. I mounted them camera in a spot where fans were oblivious to it and hopefully far away from misguided beers.

The stability of the camera is extremely important. Any change in the angle would disrupt the flow of the movie.

It started shooting at 1pm and ended around 8 pm. I had originally planned to stop just after the game had ended, but at the last minute decided to let it run into the night, which produced a beautiful transition of light. In about seven hours, the camera had recorded more than 850 frames.

Fortunately, there was an electrical outlet close enough to hard wire the camera. I don't think a typical battery could cut it. Also, it was shot in high quality JPEG mode.

Now comes the fun part. The images were first imported into Apple's iPhoto. Then connected those "raw" jpegs to iMovie. In iMovie, each photo was set to play for 00:03 seconds, which produced a movie about 90 seconds long. It was then exported into a QuickTime movie, then imported into Flash MX 2004 for its final presentation online.

There are many different ways this have been done, using different techniques and software, but this was our first time lapse and it worked very well for us. It gave our viewers something different and eye catching. We also produced an audio slideshow of the day.

The time-lapse movie of the Cardinals Home Opener at Busch Stadium can be viewed at http://graphics.stltoday.com/online/buschopen


(Huy Richard Mach is a staff photographer at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.)

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