28 March 2013

Video file containers

Anyone who uses video on a computer, from editors to casual users, knows that sometimes different video formats can be incompatible with software. Luckily all the major video player applications that come with a computer (e.g. Windows Media Player, QuickTime Player) or are downloaded from the Internet (e.g. VLC, MPEG Streamclip and many others) can play almost any video we throw at them. But if you want to know more about formats and their peculiarities, read on.

06 March 2013

New film: In Flight time-lapse

It's been a lengthy hiatus since my last post, and a while since I've edited and finished a film. Here is a brief compilation of time-lapse clips from a recent flight from Manchester to Shetland.

Music: "Interlude VII" by Ending Satellites (endingsatellites.com).

All footage is from stills shot on an iPhone 4S using the TimeLapse app. There is a free version which allows 50 shots to be taken at a time, which equates to about 2 seconds of video. Upgrade to the paid version to shoot unlimited images. The app works well, allowing you to choose image size and to lock the exposure and focus. The app recommends you switch on Airplane Mode to prevent any notifications or calls interrupting the shooting (and you'd have Airplane Mode on anyway during a flight); an interruption can stop a shot being taken or can rotate the image 90 degrees, but then shooting resumes thereafter. For one of the sequences I was shooting for about 20 minutes without a problem.

All shots were taken from behind windows. Sometimes I set the phone on the window ledge, or held it as solidly as I could against the glass for short periods. Later I found that my sat-nav suction mount could be used as a makeshift shelf on the window, and the phone would sit there happily with a bit more freedom for composing the angle. Luckily I didn't have many problems with reflections, even when the sun was shining in through the window.