by Judy Robinson
Mentoring Committee

One of the several apps I shared with the mentors at the JEA/NSPA convention in San Francisco this past spring was iMotionHD.  It’s a great app and worth reviewing again or sharing with those of you who weren’t able to attend in San Francisco.

Creating stop-motion video or time-lapse photography has its place in journalism.

For student journalists, once they have been shown how easy it is to record time-lapse video on an iPad with iMotionHD (free or $1.99 in app purchase to email the vid to yourself),  they usually have many ideas of what to record.  For example, here’s a volleyball game covered for an online newspaper.

Stop-motion video is best used to show quickly a process or event that would normally take a longer period of time.

With iMotionHD, the process is easy — almost too easy compared to what you used to have to do.  Below is a video showing the sun setting at Yosemite National Park. The video was taken with iMotionHD on my iPad and covers about 45 minutes real time.  You don’t see the sun set entirely because it was getting cold and I didn’t want to stand there another 30 minutes.

Think about the old way we used to shoot time lapse with SLR cameras.  The video below was created using a series of photos shot with a Canon Xsi on a tripod.  The camera was set up at the back of Julie’s classroom/lecture hall and I recruited a student to press the remote shutter every 10 seconds.  You can see that the camera — set for shutter priority with white balance accounting for flourescent lights — does have trouble keeping the white balance steady.  Every other shot looks green-blue.  And it took time to import the 400 odd photos (I weeded a few out) into Final Cut Express, add the audio track and export as video.  It’s approximately 10 minutes of real time compressed into less than two.

This is an interesting twist on stop-motion video and a little hard for me to watch, but you may like it.  Watch the transformation of a traveller through China.

Mentors in San Francisco entering the room for the forum where they learned (among many things) about iMotionHD.