People have been asking me how I do my time-lapse photography. Here is how it happens:
1) Get a camera that supports time-lapse photography.
I am shooting with a Nikon D200 which has built in interval tools which are very cool. All other Nikon digital SLRs are able to interface with a computer via USB and be controlled by a cool piece of software called Nikon Capture. This software can be used for this type of "intervalometer" shooting as well. Nikon Coolpix 8400 also has time lapse functionality as do the some of the Canon dSLRs including the 30D which would be your best bet on the Canon side. If you are shooting with a Canon you should check out granitebaysoftware.com.
2) Steady the camera
Mount a camera on a tripod or steady it somewhere so that you have a constant perspective for your sequence. The new Gorillapod is a nifty solution for this. I also recently got a cool car window mount from Nikon and a Stickypod for the top of my car for grabbing time-lapse while on the go.
3) Frame the shot
I good goal here is to frame the sequence so that you get multiple things moving and also something that is stationary provide a balancing perspective.
4) Set your interval
This will determine how often you take a photo. Your decision here will depend on how fast what you are capturing is changing. For clouds that are low and moving quickly you may want 5 seconds and for slower items like the sun moving across the sky you may want the interval to be 15 seconds. The Nikon D200 has a nifty feature that allows you to take multiple exposures at a given interval. So you could set it to take 4 photos every 20 seconds for instance. This creates and interesting rhythm for your piece.
5) Capture your photos
Let the camera do the work! I have found that the longer you can let it run the better the results are. Be careful not to run out of battery power and watch out for bad weather moving in to rain on your camera if you are not watching it closely!)
6) Import all your photos into QuickTime Pro by opening an image sequence (command + shift + o) and choose the first image in the sequence. You can then add a soundtrack to your movie opening an MP3 file in quicktime. Copying the selection that you want to add and then select your whole movie and then choose "add to selection and scale" from the edit menu. Have Fun!
Here is a piece I did while on vacation in Kauai: