Intervalometer Prototype in Development

One of my passions is timelapse photography.  Even if you’ve never heard of timelapse before, you’ve probably seen the results on various television shows. Timelapse is the process of taking images at a set interval, and then playing them back at a much faster rate in order to speed up events that happen over a long time.  Ice cubes melting, plants growing, clouds whizzing through the sky are just some of the examples you might’ve seen.

In recent months, I’ve produced several timelapse videos for clients, and many for myself, but overall I found the existing timelapse hardware solutions that were available somewhat limited. On a single trip to shoot timelapse sequences I might end up needing 5 or 6 different devices in order to be able to capture the scenes I’m after and if I need to capture from multiple angles on several cameras simultaneously (or shoot pairs of cameras for 3D timelapse) it can get infinitely more complex.

With these limitations in mind, I tasked myself the challenge of developing my own intervalometer;  A single device containing all the features I use most commonly require. Over the past 3 or 4 months or so, that’s exactly what I’ve been doing, on and off.

My initial prototype was based around the Arduino Uno, a fantastic little device upon which to base such a project.  Getting back into electronics, after having done nothing since high school, was a much smoother endeavour than I’d initially anticipated.  Starting with components on a breadboard, then stripboard to finally producing my own etched PCBs to produce various shields for the Arduino to talk to various other hardware like LCD displays, an input device (a Playstation 2 controller) and the camera itself.

As I am now I’m at the point of moving away from the Arduino, putting all the components directly onto a single PCB, and fully developing a more complete set of software I’m going to be documenting the process here on the blog, with the intention of ultimately releasing the final project as an open hardware design once things are in a more finished state.

More to come on this very soon!