Shot with 5D MKII
Still have some things to learn, but a good experience.
Music: Stone Jack Jones, “Hey Love”
Click here to watch on vimeo in HD

My first run at shooting still frame time lapses and experimenting with time lapse camera movement was a learning experience. Some lines from my shooter’s notebook:

  • Getting consistent exposure with the classic sunset shot is difficult. Next time, if the job requires going from full light to full darkness, I’ll choose exposure settings that split the difference between the light extremes and fine-tune in post.
  • A remote timer is essential. Don’t touch the camera, humans!
  • I set the timer to 10 second intervals, and was pleased with the speed of the cloud movement.
  • Shooting traffic at night was much easier. Once the exposure’s set, you’re good to go.
  • Shorter intervals are a must for fast-moving subjects. Any interval longer than 2 seconds results in jumps as cars fly by. In editing, I wasn’t initially happy with the fluidity of the cars’ movement. I wanted more light streak. So, I layered the video, used the add composition mode and offset the layers by a few frames. That worked well for fluidity.
  • Pans and zooms are very possible…UNLESS post will involve layering the video (as I did above). In that case, you’ll end up with some ghosting. And that can be ok, if you’re into that kind of thing. In this case, the imperfections add some charm.

All in all, I’m pretty pleased with the technique for the traffic shots, but I have a long way to go on the sunsets. And that is the intrigue of video — small successes tempered by greater challenges.

Posted by:Wildman

Husband. Dad. Pastor. I like to capture moments, pull their threads, and see what unravels. Lead well, read well, think well. And grace. Lots of grace.

3 replies on “Shooter’s Notebook: Time Lapse Tryout

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