Time-lapse photography is a technique whereby film frames are captured at set intervals; and the frames then later viewed at a shorter interval than that in which they were taken. This creates an impression of motion. In standard time-lapse photography, subjects that change very slowly will suddenly acquire visible motion. Where the subject changes quickly, even more rapid activity will result. Clouds, the stars, plants, people and construction projects are popular and classic subjects of time-lapse techniques. Irrespective of the subject, the camera position is normally fixed in place for the full time that the time-lapse takes place.
Hyperlapse is a variation of time-lapse where the position of the camera is changed between each exposure interval. The camera is slowly mover through long distances. Subjects can be fixed or moving, but the camera view point is usually aimed at an exactly defined fixed point. The images are then aligned and merged to form a moving image.
There are many definitions, opinions and discussions regarding what is and what is not street photography. Wikipedia has the rather high sounding line: Street photography is an art photography that features the human condition within public places and does not necessitate the presence of a street or even the urban environment. The subject of the photograph might be absent of people and can be object or environment where the image projects a decidedly human character in facsimile or aesthetic. It then goes on to try and define “aspects of the craft”.
Eric Kim has a much shorter, applied definition of the term. Using various examples of photographers seen as classic street photographers, he concludes that “street photography can really be shot anywhere as long as it is open to the public to enter and leave as they please.” He also feels that street photography does not need to have people in it.
Valerie Jardin gives a 12 easy steps how to approach street photography. She feels there are no official rules, just go out there and have fun. I tend to agree with the above two view points and see street photography as any photography by any means when you are out and about on the street.
The purpose of this is, however, not to debate what is and what is not street photography, but to define a combination of time-lapse, hyperlapse and street photography.
Since I first had access to a digital camera, I was doing a form of street photography. Being digital meant cost were relatively low. You could take chances and experiment. Mistakes was easy to review within a short period and adjust your technique accordingly.
I recently upgraded my cell phone and bought a Samsung Galaxy Note 2. Combined with an Otterbox that clips to your belt, a new opportunity for photography presented itself. Using a time-lapse app, I was able to set it up to automatically take photos at various intervals. I have no control over composition, framing, exposure, stability or any of the variables associated with photography. I term this street lapse photography. When I go out, I start the app, clip the phone to my belt, and leave it until I get back in the car, back to the house or return to my office. I often walk to work and back home again. Depending on the situation, the interval can be anything between 2 seconds to 30 seconds. If I find myself in a rich environment, the interval is made shorter.
The results has been very satisfying. Valerie says, “Go out there and have fun!”, and I totally agree. At photo.net, Philip Greenspun describes the best thing about street photography as the serendipity. Interesting details are often missed by the photographer and is only seen when the image is finally viewed. The frozen moment can be studied at leasure. The unattended use of the time-lapse while you move around goes further. It brings back an element of the original film photography, where, although you had control over the variables, you often would not know what the results would be before the film is both full and developed.
One confession. Although I don’t pose the image, frame the shot and select exposure, I do sometimes pause slightly, turn a little and adjust the belt clip if the situation warrants it.
And at the end I am having fun doing so and enjoy later studying these bits of time frozen forever.