Life and Death of a Flower Timelapse

Over the course of two months, I photographed a hyacinth bulb growing, flowering, and dying. All of this started before the coronavirus pandemic started, so I added a little tease at the beginning to what it was like pre and post virus.

A bit about the logistics: It was roughly 15,000 images taken as jpegs with my dslr camera. I took a photo every 5 minutes, although I think that timespan is too fast now. I’d have dialed that down to 10 minutes to decrease the amount of footage I had to deal with afterwards.

I also spent about 3 months post-processing the images and cutting each of the flowers out. Many of the comments on youtube indicated how much work that is. It’s true, but there is a bit of a shortcut. After Effects has a roto brush tool that uses AI to figure out what the next frame should be. So, I probably did 40 full cutouts and then another 200 or so adjustments to those as the roto-brush tool did it’s thing. It was still a ton of work though as the computer took a long time to process each image.

Written by Rob Nelson

Rob is an ecologist from the University of Hawaii. He is the co-creator and director of Untamed Science. His goal is to create videos and content that are entertaining, accurate, and educational. When he's not making science content, he races whitewater kayaks and works on Stone Age Man.

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