English expat revisits Grand Union Canal towpath Market Harborough

GoPro chest mount time lapse experiment

The video speeds up what’s normally an hour long walk along the Grand Union Canal towpath from Great Bowden to Union Wharf in Market Harborough.

It seemed like a good way to get some exercise and some footage to test-drive Final Cut Pro X on my new iMac.

I used the chest mount harness from my cheap GoPro accessory bundle and I did the loop once recording video, and once using the still image lime lapse feature.

Lessons Learned

My first important lesson was that walking while wearing a cheap camera chest mount does not make a smooth filming platform.

The second lesson was that still image time lapse is more forgiving than speeding up video. The raw video footage was unwatchable, and speeding it up made things worse.

Brief details of the edit

The time lapse was set to one frame per half second.

Playback at 24 fps made the footage unwatchable because of ghosting and shudder from the wobbly walking platform.

I re-used the video settings I used in Sony Vegas for bike ride time lapse video, effectively 8 frames per second – 24 frames per second, but with each image held for 3 frames. It’s half the usual minimum for persistence of vision, but I like the effect that the image lingers on screen.

The low frame rate is slightly more forgiving of wobble and I threw in an FCP focus vignette to try and soften the movements at the edge of the frame.

I also stuck with the idea of “branding” at the start of the video. Future analytics will suggest this is one reason interest drops off in the first 3 seconds of most of my YouTube videos.

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