I am planning on doing a time lapse series for art to then pan it and develop it into a cyanotype and since my topic is coloured earth, I'm going to get a flower and document its death.
Problem is that I have never done a time lapse thing before and so I'm not quite sure on what I should do. I am planning on doing it with a nikon p310 because it's convenient for this but I haven't figured out how often I should take a shot so some help will be greatly appreciated.
Thank you

1 Answer 1


First you need to have an estimation of how long does it take for a flower to die. You can Observe a similar flower or just guess. It really depends on the type of flower and the environment (in/out soil, outdoor/indoor, humid/dry, etc). Once you have this time (let's call it Tf), then you have to decide how long your movie clip should last (Tm).

Once you have these information, the rest is basic math. Let's say Tf is about 8 hours or 28800 seconds. Also, lets say you want a video of 24fps which is cinematic like (23.976 to be more precise but for sake of simplicity we go for 24fps). If your Final video is going to be 30 seconds (Tm=30) then all you have to do is:

24*30=720 Total number of shots

28800 ÷ 720 = 40 seconds interval

Or in a more general fashion:

interval = Tf ÷ (**Tm***fps)

Apart from calculations above, intuitively, I think somewhere between 40 to 90 seconds would give you decent results.

Final advice: Since this is a fairly long shooting session, be sure you will have a consistent light (unless you don't want it intentionally) and also block any wind or air flow.


An important concern that was pointed out by Rene in the comment section is the battery life. Make sure you have a power source that can drive your camera throughout the shooting.

  • 2
    Perhaps battery life is something to worry about.
    – Rene
    Jun 6, 2013 at 12:17
  • @Rene, good point, but depends on camera. Most better DSLRs goes above 700 pics (some above 1000).. To keep battery alive longer, switching off as much as possible will help (AF off, camera set to M, no live view, no picture preview after taking a shot). Jun 6, 2013 at 12:37
  • My bad... missed the camera model. Nikon P310 makes only 240 pics with a single charge. But if the pictures will be taken inside, I suppose it should be possible to simply plug the camera into electricity. Jun 6, 2013 at 12:41
  • @Rene, Very good point indeed. I will add it the answer with credits to you.
    – Pouya
    Jun 6, 2013 at 12:56
  • Wow I haven't really been on this site before and I didn't really expect this much detail but thank you so much! I'll see if I can somehow let you guys know how it turns out but I'll set everything up this weekend!
    – sonder
    Jun 6, 2013 at 18:59

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