American in Spain

Timelapse Tides

July 1, 2008

Those of you that follow my blog regularly know that I have somewhat of a fascination with timelapse videos and that I live in a town with a huge tidal basin that fills and empties with water twice a day in one of the locations on Earth with the largest difference between low and high tide. So naturally I've been dying to somehow make a timelapse video of the changing tides.

Unfortunately, the only way I have to make a timelapse video without having a computer plugged in is to fake it by taking a regular speed video and speeding it up later. And my camera will only take videos up to 67 minutes long for some reason. This resulted in a 1.86 GiB movie file, which, when converted to DV format to use in iMovie was well over 17 GiB. Yikes! Timelapse Tide Filming

This shows how I had the camera set up on the rocks. I spent the 67 minutes reading a book and taking panoramic photos with my other camera.

Here's the final product. I hope you like it. The clicking sound is the wrist strap of the camera hitting the tripod. Notice that two boats go by and their wakes make the waves bigger. And there's a white bird that wanders around the middle of the video towards the end. Watch the boat when the video is sped up at the end.

This video is also available on Flickr, YouTube, Metacafe, Google, Revver, DailyMotion,, Veoh, Crackle, Stupid Videos, Sclipo, Viddler and Howcast.

It would be nice to do a full 6-hour low-to-high cycle. The logistics of that are still being worked out.