The nature of time lapse videography means we often don’t know the result of our content until we have taken our camera down and are going through the footage. Many factors can come into account when trying to record A-grade footage. These factors include:
- Weather conditions
- The type of equipment you use
- The position of your camera, out of objects that could obscure the view
- and the mount you use
To minimise the effects of weather conditions and obscuring the view of your camera, we are going to breakdown the different kinds of camera mounts used to capture quality time lapse photos and which one would be the ideal mount for your next time lapse project.
Why are time lapse mounts effective?
As you become more experienced with the nuances of time lapse videography, you will see why having a stable mounting position for your camera is so important. If there is movement during a time lapse it can affect its quality. Using a mount for timelapse capture brings the benefits of:
- Specificity – you can find a mount to suit your project to ensure an optimal result every time
- Longevity – if your time lapse project spans a long time period, a mount will increase the longevity of your camera in the elements
- Strength – in windy and harsh conditions, the right time lapse mount provides the additional strength needed to capture an amazing video
- Control – a time lapse mount allows for specified movement and control over the capture of your project
In this article, we will take you through the four most common time lapse mounts and how they can help capture the unique perspectives of a project.
The roof mount
As the name implies a roof mount is positioned on the roof of a nearby building of the time lapse recording you are wanting to capture. This type of mount is best suited to capturing smaller construction site projects. With a roof mount, one must be mindful the height of the building you are positioning the camera on will need to be similar to the height of the construction project. This will help you to avoid cutting off any of the objects within the frame, resulting in a poor-quality time lapse.
When angling the roof mounted camera, take into consideration that you will require access to another building’s roof. This means when positioning the camera, ensure it is at the right angle to capture the entire build because you may not always have immediate access to the roof when you want it.
The building mounts
Using the wall of a building to attach your time lapse camera to a suitable vantage point can be a great option. A wall or building mount is the best option for recording medium to large construction projects because it gives a much wider view of the site. Typically, this type of time lapse mount is custom made and includes an omnidirectional lens. This ensures the mount is suitable for the individualised building you’re attaching the mount to, and the lens can capture in any direction, no matter which way the camera faces.
The nature of setting up on a building means you will need to get permission from a nearby building to set up your mount on their building. Weatherproofing the mounting system is also crucial as the wall of a building copes a large amount of wind and rain. To secure the mounts you can use weighted blocks or a specialised metal bracket that can support the weight of your camera and the weatherproofing surrounding it.
The pole-base mounts
For long-term, ongoing projects, a pole-based mount is ideal. It’s also perfect for harsh weather conditions as they are anchored to a stable point on the ground. Because they’re more flexible in where they can be placed, they’re great for situations where there are many visual obscurities.
In terms of the perspective a pole-based mount brings, it is typically situated at the highest point of the project being filmed. This means it gives a Point Of View vantage point of the project you’re filming.
This type of camera mount is typically constructed at the point of set-up. This ensures the correct angle and position is optimised for a seamless time lapse result. When constructing the mount, you have the option to use water weights to secure it to the ground, or it can be concreted in position. These options will depend on the environmental conditions and situ of the pole mount.
The concrete-base mounts
A popular choice of camera mount, for its simplicity, is the concrete base mount. This type of mount involves creating a concrete pad for a metal structure that supports the camera to be placed in.
If the appropriate care is taken when creating the concrete base, this type of structure will provide the most stability. However, a poorly laid base could become damaged over time and poses the risk of an uneven mount, or in a worst-case scenario, the structure falling over and damaging the camera equipment.
As with the pole-based mount, this mount type is great for recording a POV type view of the project over the long term. It is especially useful in more remote areas where you may not have access to a nearby building for a rooftop or wall mount.
Many factors will affect the type of time lapse camera mount you choose to go ahead with. These include:Number of mounts needed
- Environmental factors
- Building topography
- Scope of project
There isn’t really much room for guesswork when it comes to time lapse footage and the right mount. To ensure you don’t waste a considerable amount of time and money using a certain mount only to find it doesn’t work for the project, we recommend enlisting the help and advice of a professional.
birds eye media time lapse photography
To ensure a top-quality result every time, work with the team at birds eye media to facilitate your time lapse videography needs. We not only know the perfect mount to use for your projects, but we have also taken our knowledge one step further and created our own state-of-the-art time lapse camera system.
This piece of gear will protect your footage from even the harshest of weather conditions and guarantee seamless footage each and every time. If you’re still keen on giving it a go yourself, enquire with our team about our time lapse camera hire options!