Bookfair video a real page-turner

23:11, Nov 01 2012
Kapiti book fair
Book lovers: The crowds hover over table loads of reading material on Sunday.

A Waikanae photographer has recorded a time lapse homage to Kapiti's Lions using a combination of high tech gear and homemade ingenuity.

Jack Penman created 60,000 Books in 60 Seconds to show the hard work behind the annual Kapiti Combined Lions Bookfair.

The fair attempts to sell about 60,000 donated secondhand books, gathered and stored for months in Kapiti before the big weekend.

Mr Penman photgraphed last year's bookfair and discovered how much work goes into the event, which he said raised nearly half a million dollars since 1998.

''So I decided this year I wanted to show people how much effort goes into preparing that lovely arranged hall.''

Mr Penman created a film using time lapse  - something he had never tried before.
He built a small aluminium enclosure for the camera and set it up on the wall at the end of the Waikanae War Memorial Hall.

''It's basically made of aircraft-grade aluminium and the idea is to make it look like anything other than a camera.''

Last Thursday Mr Penman left a Nikon D7000 camera in the box to take a photograph every 10 seconds for the next four days.

Lions, helped by workers from the Paraparaumu Community Work Centre, trucked in 2000 cartons of books to the hall. Paraparumu College students and Lions then set up the hall for the sale. On Saturday at 8am the doors were opened and hundreds of readers poured in.

''I'm amazed at how well it came out,'' Mr Penman said.

He edited together the shots using the standard free movie software that came with his
Apple Mac.

''I think in all there was about 10,000 frames, so the poor old Mac has to churn over them for about four or five hours ... for the whole project there was about 60 gigabytes of data.''

The event itself went well enough too, although the take was down a little from previous years, organising committee chairman Peter Cresswell said.

Once the bills are paid the Lions should be able to distribute about $36,000 between a raft of Kapiti community groups.

''The slight downturn in takings may have been influenced by the state of the economy with less discretionary spending ... and by the growing preference for electronic reading and amusement options amongst the younger generation,'' Mr Cresswell said.
Mr Penman said the bookfair was still a great way for young people to boost their love of reading.

''Kids can go in there and dive into these huge piles of books. You see kids coming out with fists full of books. And if that means they go to the library, and as adults they read more and enjoy more stories, that is brilliant.''

- Camera settings for the timelapse project: Exposure 100, aperture F5, iso 1250.


Jack Penman
Photographer: Jack Penman. PHOTO: Andrew Penman.
Jack Penman's camera
Home made: The casing built from aircraft grade aluminium for the time lapse camera mounted in Waikanae War Memorial Hall.

Kapiti Observer