Boat Time Lapse

I mentioned previously that I was out shooting the bridges opening for the returning boats.  What I didn’t mention then was that I was primarily looking to shoot a time lapse piece.  With the movement of the bridges and the boats progressing along the river, I thought that this might make for an interesting time lapse.  It wouldn’t be a lengthy piece but it might be a useful addition to the library for a larger piece about Chicago if I were to do it at some point in the future.

The schedule of the lifts of the bridges is always a bit flexible.  How quickly the openings take place, how fast the boats are getting through, how many of them there are and how quickly the crews can move from bridge to bridge.  Coming this way, though, they are only at the third bridge so they are usually quite predictable.

I got myself in position, had the camera set up on a mount and the remote timer configured for what I was looking for.  I saw the previous bridge open and close so knew it wouldn’t be too long.  Sure enough, a short while later, the bells started to ring for the bridge closing.  I started my sequence of shots so I would have a run in along with the actual movement of the bridge.  Then I waited – and waited – and waited.  There were some unfortunate sounds coming from the bridge but nothing was moving.  After a while, the bells stopped and people started to cross again.

A crew got to work on the lower level trying to fix whatever was not playing ball.  The bridge had opened the previous Wednesday so it wasn’t lack of use that was the issue.  My decision was how long would I wait before giving up and going home – an easier option than for the boat crews that were stuck between Columbus and Michigan!  Finally they fixed it and the bells started again.  I got the sequence restarted and everything then happened as planned.  It is a short clip but below is the resulting sequence.  Now to find something in which to use it.

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