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Author Topic: Newbie Time lapse  (Read 6150 times)

gngan

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Newbie Time lapse
« on: April 11, 2012, 06:51:43 AM »
Hi guys,

I am learning to take time lapse pictures. There's one thing that i find it difficult to do.

Let's say I'm trying to do landscape from sun raise. How should i set my shutter speed and aperture? If I set the shutter speed to slow and aperture low then i can take clear pictures when it's dark but when the sun raise then it will be too bright. The setting for the transaction is so hard!

Can someone please tell me what to do?

Edit: How long should i take each photos for landscape? I am testing with 10 seconds. I do not want to have 'blip' when i make the video.
« Last Edit: April 11, 2012, 06:57:56 AM by gngan »

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Newbie Time lapse
« on: April 11, 2012, 06:51:43 AM »

Axilrod

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Re: Newbie Time lapse
« Reply #1 on: April 11, 2012, 09:50:20 AM »
Either use auto ISO or shoot in Tv or Av mode.  I'm not really sure, I've never done time lapses with drastic changes in light.  But I'm sure someone will give you an answer soon...
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gngan

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Re: Newbie Time lapse
« Reply #2 on: April 11, 2012, 11:54:01 AM »
Thanks for dropping in Axilrod.

I've done some research on this and here's my setting.

Manual focus
IOS 400
Manual mode

JerryKnight

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Re: Newbie Time lapse
« Reply #3 on: April 11, 2012, 12:37:29 PM »
I'm sure the exposure range from dawn to late morning is well beyond the dynamic range of any sensor, so you have to adjust your exposures as the sun rises. Like was suggested earlier, put it in aperture priority mode, set your aperture to something like f/8 (for good sharpness), and be sure the spot meter is not turned on. You want the widest evaluative metering mode available, so that the exposures are as centered as possible. You can correct it later if you want, but if the highlights are blown or the shadows are crushed, you can't do very much to fix it.

Auto-ISO might be a good option, depending on how high the ISO wants to go before sunrise. If you're okay with a variation in noise, this might be the better method. Actually, since you're likely only using the time-lapse to create a video, the noise shouldn't really be an issue at all.

So maybe try manual mode, auto ISO, f/8 at a fixed shutter speed. Probably above 1/125s so that the ISO can go low enough in the late morning when the sun is bright. If you choose a slow shutter speed, ISO 100 might still be too bright in bright sunlight. (Some slight fudging of the Sunny 16 rule.)

se7en

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Re: Newbie Time lapse
« Reply #4 on: April 11, 2012, 01:07:54 PM »
If you shoot in anything other than manual mode(NO auto ISO) you will get bad flicker. Sunset and sunrise timelapse are extremely difficult and typically require advanced techniques such as bulb ramping.

Your best bet while starting out will be something like this for sunrise:
ISO 100
Exp 100
Aperture f11, check hyper focal distanc
No AWB!!
Manual focus only.
You will still get aperture flicker in all manual and if you shoot faster than ss 100 you will get shutter flicker!
To remove aperture flicker you must disengage the electrical connections between the lens and the body. To do this:
Set aperture...
Press and hold DOF button.
Press lens release button while turning lens counterclockwise 1/8 of an inch.
Check iris to insure aperture is stopped down.
If you turned too much, you will get an error, if you didn't turn enough, you will get an error.

This will keep your aperture at the exact same stop for the entire length of the tl eliminating aperture flicker that occurs due to micro differences in diameter with every actuation.

Let the timelapse roll and edit in post with lr timelapse to recover shadows before sunrise..

You could also set initial ISo to 200, then change halfway to 100, realizing you will need to do more in depth deflicker in post.

Also, remember, with the lens disengaged your light meter is no longer accurate so disregard.

Lastly, timescapes.org forum is a much better resource than here.

Axilrod

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Re: Newbie Time lapse
« Reply #5 on: April 11, 2012, 04:17:45 PM »
If you shoot in anything other than manual mode(NO auto ISO) you will get bad flicker. Sunset and sunrise timelapse are extremely difficult and typically require advanced techniques such as bulb ramping.

Your best bet while starting out will be something like this for sunrise:
ISO 100
Exp 100
Aperture f11, check hyper focal distanc
No AWB!!
Manual focus only.
You will still get aperture flicker in all manual and if you shoot faster than ss 100 you will get shutter flicker!
To remove aperture flicker you must disengage the electrical connections between the lens and the body. To do this:
Set aperture...
Press and hold DOF button.
Press lens release button while turning lens counterclockwise 1/8 of an inch.
Check iris to insure aperture is stopped down.
If you turned too much, you will get an error, if you didn't turn enough, you will get an error.

This will keep your aperture at the exact same stop for the entire length of the tl eliminating aperture flicker that occurs due to micro differences in diameter with every actuation.

Let the timelapse roll and edit in post with lr timelapse to recover shadows before sunrise..

You could also set initial ISo to 200, then change halfway to 100, realizing you will need to do more in depth deflicker in post.

Also, remember, with the lens disengaged your light meter is no longer accurate so disregard.

Lastly, timescapes.org forum is a much better resource than here.

Now that you say that, I do remember reading that sunrises/sunsets are one of the most difficult things to capture in the time-lapse world. 

Gngan, I would suggest shooting a few time lapses with consistent lighting just to get comfortable with the intervalometer, settings, etc.  There are so many variables it's easy to end up wasting a couple thousand shutter actuations if you end up not being happy with the result.  Sunrises and sunsets are very challenging, it would probably be better to learn doing more basic daytime time lapses to get the hang of it.
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Marsu42

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Re: Newbie Time lapse
« Reply #6 on: April 11, 2012, 04:37:30 PM »
There's one thing that i find it difficult to do.

magic lantern's bulb ramping - that's exactly what it's made for!

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Re: Newbie Time lapse
« Reply #6 on: April 11, 2012, 04:37:30 PM »

gngan

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Re: Newbie Time lapse
« Reply #7 on: April 11, 2012, 08:23:13 PM »
Thank you for the tips Se7en. It definitely sounds a lot harder than i thought!

Do you think it's alright to change the setting during the photos? Let's say it's getting darker, can i put the ISO higher, slower shutter speed, and change the WB?

I am thinking it may work IF i change the setting gradually.


Axilrod: I am quite comfortable with using time lapse in Magic Lantern now though I've only tried it twice. lol

Can someone please explain what's magic lantern's bulb ramping?

se7en

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Re: Newbie Time lapse
« Reply #8 on: April 11, 2012, 11:20:23 PM »
Thank you for the tips Se7en. It definitely sounds a lot harder than i thought!

Do you think it's alright to change the setting during the photos? Let's say it's getting darker, can i put the ISO higher, slower shutter speed, and change the WB?

I am thinking it may work IF i change the setting gradually.


Axilrod: I am quite comfortable with using time lapse in Magic Lantern now though I've only tried it twice. lol

Can someone please explain what's magic lantern's bulb ramping?

Sounds great in theory, however not in reality. If that were the case you could put your camera on auto mode and let it ride. A 1 stop difference between shutter settings is not very gradual and has a much greater effect than you imagine. Especially when you replay 600 stills back at 30fps.

ISO stops are less dramatic but for each time you change the ISO, you will be doubling your work in post to create a smooth transition. Without the extra time in post, you will have a brightnening(or darknening) 'jolt' for each time you changed the ISO.

Bulb ramping is the 'easiest' answer to the holy grail(sunset/sunrise shots in TL). It uses the bulb mode on your camera, which is exclusive to canons, which im assuming you have by your presence here. It will increase or decrease the amount of time your sensor is exposed to the 100ths of a second at a time to allow for a very much needed gradual adjustment in exposure for a smooth playback.

Like someone else suggested, I would work on dialing in your daytime timelapses with consistent lighting before attempting a sunrise/sunset. You will either 1) Just get frustrated or 2) Induce epilepsy on yourself or another due to flicker.

Check out:
http://forum.timescapes.org/phpBB3/viewforum.php?f=40&sid=f6aaad197909b9f1895311c88538854f
and
Timelapse FAQ
http://forum.timescapes.org/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=40&t=1871

gngan

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Re: Newbie Time lapse
« Reply #9 on: April 12, 2012, 04:02:29 AM »
Thank you AGAIN, Se7en.

I am doing some research on Bulb Ramping in ML. Let me try it and post a video here.

There are so many things to learn in just one particular type on photography!

Edit: I've tried with ML Bulb Ramping but failed. :'(

The picture will always be over expose (ie white image).

Not sure what I am doing wrong but here's what i tried.

1) Take a picture that i think it's right (ie aperture, shutter speed, manual focus and WB)
2) Turn on the Intervalometer and Bulb ramping
3) ML does calibration (the S curve)
4) It lets me choose the tone range from the picture i took (here's the problem)
- I tried 50th percentile and the camera will start taking pictures but it will be over expose (white image)
- I tried other percentile and it will still take over expose photos
- It would take 3-4 pictures before it returns to normal/acceptable pictures
« Last Edit: April 12, 2012, 06:10:13 AM by gngan »

se7en

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Re: Newbie Time lapse
« Reply #10 on: April 12, 2012, 09:42:10 AM »
I haven't done any real bulb ramping myself so i'm not much of a resource, but what camera are you using?

And what kind of transition are you looking for? A sunrise with an acceptable range of exposure or are you trying to capture a timelapse that is several hours long and includes astrophotography/nightshots transitioned into full daytime shots?

Thank you AGAIN, Se7en.

I am doing some research on Bulb Ramping in ML. Let me try it and post a video here.

There are so many things to learn in just one particular type on photography!

Edit: I've tried with ML Bulb Ramping but failed. :'(

The picture will always be over expose (ie white image).

Not sure what I am doing wrong but here's what i tried.

1) Take a picture that i think it's right (ie aperture, shutter speed, manual focus and WB)
2) Turn on the Intervalometer and Bulb ramping
3) ML does calibration (the S curve)
4) It lets me choose the tone range from the picture i took (here's the problem)
- I tried 50th percentile and the camera will start taking pictures but it will be over expose (white image)
- I tried other percentile and it will still take over expose photos
- It would take 3-4 pictures before it returns to normal/acceptable pictures

sleepnever

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Re: Newbie Time lapse
« Reply #11 on: April 12, 2012, 10:28:35 AM »
I found this yesterday and it may be of some help to you. This guy's work is amazing. I know I'm going to give it a go.
http://blog.planet5d.com/2012/03/how-to-create-an-hdr-timelapse-a-dustin-farrell-tutorial/
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gngan

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Re: Newbie Time lapse
« Reply #12 on: April 12, 2012, 10:29:42 PM »
I haven't done any real bulb ramping myself so i'm not much of a resource, but what camera are you using?

And what kind of transition are you looking for? A sunrise with an acceptable range of exposure or are you trying to capture a timelapse that is several hours long and includes astrophotography/nightshots transitioned into full daytime shots?

I am using a 550D. Tried it with Canon 10-22, Canon 24-105 and Tamron 17-50.

I am just looking for a simple transition from sunrise or sunset with acceptable range of exposure. I am still playing around with this but i would love to do astro/nightshots when i can do a better job with the day to night timelapse.

Quote
I found this yesterday and it may be of some help to you. This guy's work is amazing. I know I'm going to give it a go.
http://blog.planet5d.com/2012/03/how-to-create-an-hdr-timelapse-a-dustin-farrell-tutorial/

Thanks for the link. Love the video!

I am experimenting with HDR night photography too but I can't see the difference between a normal photo and a HDR photo. lol. Not sure what's wrong.
« Last Edit: April 12, 2012, 10:59:22 PM by gngan »

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Re: Newbie Time lapse
« Reply #12 on: April 12, 2012, 10:29:42 PM »

bycostello

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Re: Newbie Time lapse
« Reply #13 on: April 15, 2012, 10:21:03 AM »
i think it is more keeping things like iso and white balance and aperture constant... that matters....

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Re: Newbie Time lapse
« Reply #13 on: April 15, 2012, 10:21:03 AM »