If you were under the impression that time-lapse sequences are the preserve of condensing the observation of periods of slow change into something that can be watched in a few minutes, photographer Mike Bons might encourage you to think again. He used the time-lapse technique to capture the precise moment that he proposed marriage to his girlfriend Erin: a single moment of immense change. Given that Erin said yes, I suppose we should call her Mike's fiancée now!
Mike succeeded in setting up the proposal and shoot with only a marginal amount of deception. Being a photographer, Erin and Mike don't tend to have very many photos of them together: someone is always behind the camera. By suggesting a photoshoot of the two of them together, he had every opportunity to capture the moment without giving away the game and getting some photos of them together. By creating a time-lapse of the proposal, he wouldn't need to worry about getting his timing right, either. Cunning!
Having bought the ring and settled on St Valentine's Day as D-Day, it was time to do the deed at Meyer’s Pier, in Belleville, Ontario, with their car's headlights backlighting the scene.
Mike set up his Canon 6D with a 70-200mm lens set at 175mm, manually focused on the point they'd be standing, and an exposure of 1/80 second, ƒ/3.2, ISO 3200. He set his time-lapse device to record one photo every second, and then it was a case of getting Erin out of the car, where she was keeping warm, and getting down on one knee.
The next step was all in Erin's hands!
After she'd said yes, and they'd got all the photos they wanted, I rather hope that they spent a romantic evening together before he embarked on his post-processing.
To create the final image, Mike selected his favourite shot from the time-lapse sequence and stitched it together with some panorama shots that he'd taken when he was setting up. This was to ensure that he achieved the field-of-view that he wanted along with the depth-of-field that he wanted from his settings of 175mm and ƒ/3.2.
Tah-daa! One life-changing instant captured by time-lapse. And many felicitations to Mike and Erin.
Oh, and seeing as Mike is a photographer, you might want to check out his website for his other photos that don't necessarily involve proposing to his girlfriend.
(Headsup to Triggertrap)