I had wanted to add motion to my time-lapse videos but thought equipment to move the camera slowly while my intervalometer snapped pictures would be out of my reach.
A month ago, the Astronomy Picture of the Day was the video Namibian Nights (click on that link and watch the video before going further). (Go ahead, this will be here when you get back.) The video seems to have been created as a bit of advertising for the video's creator's tour business. It's very impressive. And pretty.
The video's description of on Vimeo gave me the name of the dolly they used for the motion. Googling it, I found the dolly and found that I could afford it. After watching their instructional videos, I decided that I probably could actually use the thing.
It's a Stage Zero Dolly from Dynamic Perception.
A really nice thing about this dolly is that the controller of the dolly's motion is also the intervalometer that triggers the camera. It is very flexible. It will be great for my nighttime videos. I can't wait till I get an opportunity to try that out.
The day after it was delivered I took it to the Oceanside Pier where I had made some earlier videos. This new video has a segment where we watch people walk up and down the pier. Today, Jerry and I went up Palomar Mountain to get some videos featuring another round of clouds.
It was a very windy day. For the first bit on the mountain I had the dolly's track on two tripods. I had a very difficult time getting it all set up. As I was getting one tripod set up, the other would collapse. Repeatedly. Part of the problem is that the tripods are made for lightweight cameras. The dolly plus the camera is a bit heavier that the tripods were built for. Then, once things were finally going, the wind came up and jostled the setup.
Note to self: get sturdier tripods.
Note two: before striking out for a nighttime shoot, get more practice setting things up. Night is not the time to learn how to assemble complicated instruments.
Here is my first video that uses my new doodad.
Here's a picture of the dolly carrying the camera up the track capturing one of the video's segments. I used only one of the tripods for this segment. The lower end's legs are sitting on a rock.
Wherever I go with it people ask what it is. I'm sure in addition to the size of the contraption that the pretty blue track gets people's attention.