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Author Topic: Time lapse photography help  (Read 66371 times)

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« on: January 17, 2015, 10:46 »
0
I'm having some fun with time lapse but it is done with relatively even lighting throughout the sequence.  I bring the images in and can do a batch tweak and output them to JPGS.

My question is more around how you manage changing light, such as in sunsets/sunrises.  Do you batch process 'batches' of your sequence? Leaving the camera in auto program isn't really good because one little flicker of light can cause the camera to improperly expose. However, I see a lot of beautiful sunrise time lapses that essentially go from dark to full daytime. How do you manage that capability? In the camera? In post? What are some of the workflows you use to achieve good results?

Thanks in advance for your help.


« Reply #1 on: January 17, 2015, 13:06 »
0
Yeah, there's a program to help with that. It costs a fair bit, though, and I can't remember the name just now.

« Reply #2 on: January 17, 2015, 13:57 »
0
I'm having some fun with time lapse but it is done with relatively even lighting throughout the sequence.  I bring the images in and can do a batch tweak and output them to JPGS.

My question is more around how you manage changing light, such as in sunsets/sunrises.  Do you batch process 'batches' of your sequence? Leaving the camera in auto program isn't really good because one little flicker of light can cause the camera to improperly expose. However, I see a lot of beautiful sunrise time lapses that essentially go from dark to full daytime. How do you manage that capability? In the camera? In post? What are some of the workflows you use to achieve good results?

Thanks in advance for your help.

That's a very complicated question to answer.
Depends hugely on many factors such as,camera DR,atmosphere and humidity,season,framing (and lens),contrast of scene,duration etc.
Short answer is you dont always have to do ramping,i almost never do,as long as you dont want the for example sunset timelapse to start very early and cover the transition to dusk/night.
It realy is complicated and there is no short answer.
You can always try any intervalometer or motion control device that supports ramping via shutter,but its a bit hit and miss.
Sometimes you can do a scouting test to shoot the same timelapse next day,and realize that all your calculations are way off due to the factors mentioned.
Better try for starters settings that give you the maximum amount of post flexibility in bringing down exposure at the beginning and maybe bring it up a bit towards the very end.
Oh ,and of course that means shooting and grading raw and not jpeg's.
And exporting tiffs (10bits if possible) to import to NLE and do more adjustments there,since the basic ones will be done in LR,photoshop, or whatever you are working with.
I know, its not easy...

« Reply #3 on: January 18, 2015, 11:05 »
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Do a Google search for "bulb ramping" or "exposure ramping" and you should find what you're looking for.

« Reply #4 on: January 19, 2015, 13:15 »
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Yeah, there's a program to help with that. It costs a fair bit, though, and I can't remember the name just now.


I think you mean Lightroom Timelapse:
http://lrtimelapse.com/
I installed the demo but haven't tested it yet.

« Reply #5 on: January 19, 2015, 13:28 »
0
Thanks, everyone. And also to the pms ive received.

« Reply #6 on: January 20, 2015, 00:52 »
+1
If you shoot Canon, you can also use Magic Lantern, which has a bulb ramping feature.

Otherwise I use Aperture Priority mode to accommodate the changing light. You don't want to leave the aperture on auto as then each photo will have a different DOF.

« Reply #7 on: January 20, 2015, 08:53 »
0
If you shoot Canon, you can also use Magic Lantern, which has a bulb ramping feature.

Otherwise I use Aperture Priority mode to accommodate the changing light. You don't want to leave the aperture on auto as then each photo will have a different DOF.

So you don't get false positives, meaning flicker from wrong camera guesses where aperture priority is fooled by a quirk of light?

« Reply #8 on: January 21, 2015, 00:34 »
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Occasionally. But I found it's usually just a single frame that goes weird, so I just delete that frame.

Uncle Pete

« Reply #9 on: January 21, 2015, 02:41 »
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Also shooting manual works, since the light is changing and it looks more natural. Sunsets don't stay the same brightness or it will look strange, since it doesn't get darker? Manual also prevents the unwanted flickering.

As someone else pointed out, keeping the f/stop the same is a positive because of changing depth of field complications. Aperture Priority, manual focus, shutter speed changes.

You can go simple or make it much more complicated, but Auto Exposure is nothing but trouble.

Consider tethered and you can adjust settings? (without risking touching the camera and creating movement)

What I mean is, every lighting situation is different, so there's not just one answer. Sunset with clouds? How much of the sky? Do you want stars to appear later? Where's the horizon? Shooting for the landscape or the sky? Are there other parts of the content changing or moving...



« Reply #10 on: January 21, 2015, 08:09 »
0
Thanks IBK.  I did that on a time-lapse and it wasn't really noticeable and I also did it with a guy ignoring the fact that I was shooting and walked right in from of my camera.  Uncle, I do agree that aperture can cause probe as stated. I have read about bulb ramping and it can be controlled with a hand held unit and slowly ramping up the shutter speed when the light begins to change. But its an art for sure.
« Last Edit: January 21, 2015, 08:51 by Mantis »

fritz

  • I love Tom and Jerry music

« Reply #11 on: January 21, 2015, 08:50 »
0
Guess what you are looking for is High-Dynamic Range (HDR) Time-Lapse! It's not so easy to do takes lot of time but at the end result is outstanding.
 
http://www.lynda.com/Photography-HDR-tutorials/Shooting-High-Dynamic-Range-HDR-Time-Lapse-Video/163610-2.html

w7lwi

  • Those that don't stand up to evil enable evil.
« Reply #12 on: January 22, 2015, 18:29 »
0
Yeah, there's a program to help with that. It costs a fair bit, though, and I can't remember the name just now.


I think you mean Lightroom Timelapse:
http://lrtimelapse.com/
I installed the demo but haven't tested it yet.


Do you need to have Lightroom installed to use this or is it a stand alone program that will work with Photoshop?  Also, has anyone outside of the EU purchased this?  U.S. or ??

ACS

« Reply #13 on: January 23, 2015, 16:21 »
0
Interestingly, Gopro Hero4 nightlapse mode uses auto exposure but cause almost no flickering.

<a href="http://youtu.be/RgWfNAQGlAA" target="_blank" class="aeva_link bbc_link new_win">http://youtu.be/RgWfNAQGlAA</a>

« Reply #14 on: January 23, 2015, 16:39 »
0
ftp://
Yeah, there's a program to help with that. It costs a fair bit, though, and I can't remember the name just now.


I think you mean Lightroom Timelapse:
http://lrtimelapse.com/
I installed the demo but haven't tested it yet.


Do you need to have Lightroom installed to use this or is it a stand alone program that will work with Photoshop?  Also, has anyone outside of the EU purchased this?  U.S. or ??


It will work with Adobe Camera Raw. Basically, you make all your adjustments to images in ACR by cutting and pasting .XMP data. When you go back into Lrtimelapse hit update and the software will read all the .XMP changes and create smooth curves. So you are back and forth between Lrtimelapse and ACR. It's a pretty easy program once you understand how it works, there is a learning curve though at first. He has some nice tutorials that explain it step by step. There is also a gizmo called "Promote Control" that will handle the bulb ramping  iso ramping which makes editing a lot easier.

If interested, here is a couple day to night I did a while back with lrtimelapse/promote control. They both have some issues, but you get the idea. I'm still learning how to do these.


« Last Edit: January 23, 2015, 17:53 by cdwheatley »

« Reply #15 on: January 23, 2015, 18:32 »
0
ftp://
Yeah, there's a program to help with that. It costs a fair bit, though, and I can't remember the name just now.


I think you mean Lightroom Timelapse:
http://lrtimelapse.com/
I installed the demo but haven't tested it yet.


Do you need to have Lightroom installed to use this or is it a stand alone program that will work with Photoshop?  Also, has anyone outside of the EU purchased this?  U.S. or ??


It will work with Adobe Camera Raw. Basically, you make all your adjustments to images in ACR by cutting and pasting .XMP data. When you go back into Lrtimelapse hit update and the software will read all the .XMP changes and create smooth curves. So you are back and forth between Lrtimelapse and ACR. It's a pretty easy program once you understand how it works, there is a learning curve though at first. He has some nice tutorials that explain it step by step. There is also a gizmo called "Promote Control" that will handle the bulb ramping  iso ramping which makes editing a lot easier.

If interested, here is a couple day to night I did a while back with lrtimelapse/promote control. They both have some issues, but you get the idea. I'm still learning how to do these.




Nice. What interval were you using?

« Reply #16 on: January 23, 2015, 20:35 »
0
Interestingly, Gopro Hero4 nightlapse mode uses auto exposure but cause almost no flickering.

http://youtu.be/RgWfNAQGlAA


This is happening for a variety of reasons.
1) Shutter exposure not aperture.
2) Video mode (i presume).Also camera has a fixed wide lens,huge depth of field,-these are video camera traits-,and all these combined with evaluative scene metering  that protects highlights like all video camera's do,help a lot in these situations.
3) And most important.Very long duration.If camera was taking stills every 3 seconds there would be more flickering.There still is,but it's not unpleasant,or even noticeable.

w7lwi

  • Those that don't stand up to evil enable evil.
« Reply #17 on: January 23, 2015, 21:44 »
0
ftp://
Yeah, there's a program to help with that. It costs a fair bit, though, and I can't remember the name just now.


I think you mean Lightroom Timelapse:
http://lrtimelapse.com/
I installed the demo but haven't tested it yet.


Do you need to have Lightroom installed to use this or is it a stand alone program that will work with Photoshop?  Also, has anyone outside of the EU purchased this?  U.S. or ??


It will work with Adobe Camera Raw. Basically, you make all your adjustments to images in ACR by cutting and pasting .XMP data. When you go back into Lrtimelapse hit update and the software will read all the .XMP changes and create smooth curves. So you are back and forth between Lrtimelapse and ACR. It's a pretty easy program once you understand how it works, there is a learning curve though at first. He has some nice tutorials that explain it step by step. There is also a gizmo called "Promote Control" that will handle the bulb ramping  iso ramping which makes editing a lot easier.

If interested, here is a couple day to night I did a while back with lrtimelapse/promote control. They both have some issues, but you get the idea. I'm still learning how to do these.




Thank you.

« Reply #18 on: January 24, 2015, 09:16 »
0

[/quote]

Nice. What interval were you using?
[/quote]

I don't remember exactly, maybe 5-7 seconds. I shot everything in manual mode, Raw with 5d2 over 2-3 hours. important to set white balance manually also. If the clouds are moving fast then use shorter intervals. The problem with shorter intervals is you end up with a really high iso by the time it's totally dark depending on how much ambient light is available. If you have something higher like a 10sec interval you can have a longer shutter at lower iso by nightfall.  I'm guessing you can get better results shooting in a city at night than in a rural area, or milky way stuff. I haven't tried to use any noise reduction, or stabilizers yet for post correction. I know After effects cc warp stabilizer vfx works wonders for any camera movement. Starting shutter speed for Promote control needs to be no faster than 1/20th of a sec for accuracy, ending shutter is somewhere around 4 minutes in rural areas. ND filters are mandatory for starting in the daytime to achieve 1/20th shutter at a reasonable aperture. Best to have the removable sliding filters, which I don't have. Promote control will prompt you to remove the filters as it gets dark.  The nice thing about promote control is you can make minor adjustments during the shoot to compensate for unforeseen lighting changes, these adjustments are then made over the course of your choosing, maybe 30-60 frames.

« Reply #19 on: January 24, 2015, 10:47 »
0


Nice. What interval were you using?
[/quote]

I don't remember exactly, maybe 5-7 seconds. I shot everything in manual mode, Raw with 5d2 over 2-3 hours. important to set white balance manually also. If the clouds are moving fast then use shorter intervals. The problem with shorter intervals is you end up with a really high iso by the time it's totally dark depending on how much ambient light is available. If you have something higher like a 10sec interval you can have a longer shutter at lower iso by nightfall.  I'm guessing you can get better results shooting in a city at night than in a rural area, or milky way stuff. I haven't tried to use any noise reduction, or stabilizers yet for post correction. I know After effects cc warp stabilizer vfx works wonders for any camera movement. Starting shutter speed for Promote control needs to be no faster than 1/20th of a sec for accuracy, ending shutter is somewhere around 4 minutes in rural areas. ND filters are mandatory for starting in the daytime to achieve 1/20th shutter at a reasonable aperture. Best to have the removable sliding filters, which I don't have. Promote control will prompt you to remove the filters as it gets dark.  The nice thing about promote control is you can make minor adjustments during the shoot to compensate for unforeseen lighting changes, these adjustments are then made over the course of your choosing, maybe 30-60 frames.
[/quote]

Great intel. Thanks for sharing your experiences.

Uncle Pete

« Reply #20 on: January 26, 2015, 19:25 »
+1
Without getting into all the complications. I'd say, the best answer to getting started is just get started. Do some time-lapse experiments and learn. Don't expect high quality or success, until you can refine what you are doing, on a personal level. Get your head into it by seeing and feeling, how things work. It's not all about science and mechanics and computers or expensive bulb ramping boxes.

Here's one experiment:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vM9qQ7biW70

All day long, every 5 seconds. Dandelion (manual - timer, nothing else)

Part of a Sunset: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IdA_jmNbSyk

It's much longer, but the purpose is, this is also at 5 seconds between shots. Watch the clouds, if it's windy you will need more shots, if calm, you can do less. How much motion is there in the scene will determine the interval.

Night sky, 8mm lens, 10-D, 30 second exposures, every 30 seconds.  :) (I'm mean to that camera!) Manual

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3GHsCDSPW7U

Mostly for ideas, nothing special here.

My biggest problem is I have to make everything 720 x ### because my old XP computer won't process full size images, into animations. Might be memory or speed limitations. Time to break down and get a loaded Windows 7 computer?

« Reply #21 on: January 26, 2015, 20:51 »
0
Interestingly, Gopro Hero4 nightlapse mode uses auto exposure but cause almost no flickering.

http://youtu.be/RgWfNAQGlAA


Very cool. Was that about an hour of shooting?

Semmick Photo

« Reply #22 on: January 27, 2015, 04:29 »
0
If you shoot Canon, you can also use Magic Lantern, which has a bulb ramping feature.

Otherwise I use Aperture Priority mode to accommodate the changing light. You don't want to leave the aperture on auto as then each photo will have a different DOF.
I was thinking Magic Lantern as well

Semmick Photo

« Reply #23 on: January 27, 2015, 04:40 »
+1
Maybe these instructions can shed some light (pun intended)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ir7gBv7FRcs

Uncle Pete

« Reply #24 on: January 27, 2015, 22:38 »
0
20 minutes, I'll have to set some time aside for that lesson.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flicker_fusion_threshold

Just some more physics to consider in the process.



 

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