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Owen Wildman

Hi, I’m Wildman. These are my WildThoughts

Welcome to my personal blog. It's where I put stuff about my life as a husband, dad & pastor. I dabble in photography, video, travel, outdoor adventures, and social sciences, too.

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Shooter’s Notebook: Time Lapse 2

A mashup of three short time lapse attempts
taken within the span of a few hours.
Plus a little original music.

After learning some lessons from my first time lapse attempt, I took to the field again with my 5D Mk II, tripod, and intervalometer. You can watch the results above, or click here to view in HD on vimeo.

Over all, this was a much better result.

In my first try, I experienced camera shake and image flicker problems. My hunch was that these were caused by my mid-shooting adjustments to the camera’s exposure settings. As the sky darkened, I didn’t want to miss the beautiful colors, so I tried to push the exposure.

On this second attempted, I was resolved to jam my hands in my pockets and resist the urge to fiddle with the controls. My self control was rewarded by a steady shot with much less flicker. In the video, you’ll notice that the first and third time lapse shots are smooth and nearly flicker free. As a test of my theory, I made some mid-shot corrections in the second capture, and the flicker and shake returns.

Lesson learned: Keep your hands off the camera, dummy! It’s much more difficult to set a single exposure that will capture both the fully lit early sky and the final fade of sunset color…but that’s what you’ve got to do. Set the camera on manual, over-expose a bit for full sun, then let it roll. The uncertainty of what you’ll get in the final minutes of light adds to the excitement, don’t you think?

The other adjustment I wanted to make after my first try was to run each of my captured frames through Lightroom to pre-process before editing. Lightroom gives much finer control that FCP or even AE, so you can really play with the color and feel of the shots. I applied this technique to the first time lapse sequence in the video above, and was able to pull some more color out of the sky and boost the cloud contrast.

Time lapse photography is quickly becoming an addiction… Can’t wait to see what’s next….

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