San Francisco artist and programmer Ken Murphy has combined a point-and-shoot camera, a Canon firmware hack, and a motorized telescope mount to create lively, panoramic time-lapse movies.
Typical time-lapse movies show a fixed scene changing at an accelerated rate over time. Time-lapse photographers accomplish this by shooting photos at regular intervals (anywhere from every few seconds to every half hour) and combining the frames into a movie file. Panning time-lapse movies add motorized mounts to the set-up, so the final movie slowly pans across a scene. Murphy has taken this technique one step further by editing the final movie so that it creates a full, 360-degree panoramic view.
Murphy shot two movies, one with a Canon A590 and the other with a Canon G12—both point-and-shoot cameras. He installed the CHDK (Canon Hack Development Kit) software on the cameras, amd programed them to take photographs every five seconds. The cameras were mounted on a panning telescope mount ($250) which slowly rotated the camera 360 degrees. A full rotation took 60 to 90 minutes.
To create the final product, Murphy spliced 12 views of the scene together, each section playing the same video at slightly different times. Check out one of the final products, which was shot outside of a San Francisco cafe at night:
[via Mission Mission]