Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving, all who celebrate it. To everyone else… to paraphrase an Australian friend, “aren’t you glad the Brits didn’t send the religious wackos to you?”

Ah, well.

I spent part of my vacation with my mom and dad, who live about an hour outside of New York City. We never participate in Black Friday madness in the city, but instead usually visit a museum or two.  Thanks to another (non-Australian) friend, I acquired a new app for my iPhone called iTimeLapse.  It lets you assemble photos into a sequence that forms an absolutely brilliant, quick time-lapse movie, which you then can share with Vimeo, or YouTube, or mail to your friends.

Here’s one of mine, from the Cooper-Hewitt National Museum of Design…


And here is the Museum of Modern Art:


I wasn’t able to do this at the Kandinsky exhibit at the Guggenheim at all, and due to overcrowding (it was “students for free” day at MoMA) I couldn’t get anywhere near the Tim Burton exhibit that’s going on right now.  But it’s amazing to me that this technology is so cheap, and readily available.

Does it take practice? Yes.  I needed to be a lot slower and more deliberate as I moved around the museum.  And I needed to be much more precise about how I carried the camera… I mean, iPhone.  And I needed to shorten the period of time between one frame and the next.  But as a quick proof-of-concept, I was pretty pleased with how these two shots turned out. Look for more such photo series in the future.

The thing that I’m a little surprised by, though, is the powerful degree to which this is a disruptive technology.  One person with such a camera can stand unobtrusively in one spot for a long time, and make a very long movie indeed with such a device, and such software.  Your students, or mine, could create a time-lapse photo series of lecture notes, or a concert, or almost anything at all really.  They could create a new soundtrack, or write a new narrative…

I’m going to have to think how I’ll use this in the classroom, and to what purpose. I think it’s cool.  I’m just not sure how to use it yet.


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