Timelapse photography can be so rewarding and so frustrating. I have been using my Canon EOS 7D for nearly 12 months now, and have shot quite a few timelapses with it. Once the basics are understood, it is finding good subject matter that becomes the challenge.
While at The Watshan Catte Co. Ranch I was in awe of the amount of stars that were visible each night. Miles from anywhere the amount of light pollution was, well pretty much zero! So, I decided it was time to try and bring together as many Timelaspes of the night sky as possible and see if I could create something that would do it justice.
I had a few unsuccessful nights when condensation on the lens of my Tokina 11-16mm F/2.8 left me with only a few seconds of useable final product. I trashed these small timelaspes and asked for help from Timelaspe veteran Preston Kanak. He passed on a tip that allowed me to shoot right through the night without any issues of condensation / frost on the lens. It was so simple, yet worked so well.
I tweeted: “@prestonkanak any tips for condensation on lens in overnight TL’s?”
His reply was short and to the point “@JohnJoRitz Handwarmers.”
I got funny looks at the local store buying handwarmers and candles in spring, but I think it was worth it 🙂
That night I set about stickytaping 4 handwarmers to the lens hood of the Tokina. I had already set the Canon up for its night shift and checked the handwarmers were not in frame, I hit the start button.
I repeated this process any night when the sky was clear. I wanted to use some light source to add some foreground detail and ended up using a regular candle. I had taken a large Bombay sapphire gin bottle, used and *angle grinder and a lot of safety gear to cut the top off, and placed the tapered candle inside. This was to keep it from going out, but also to make sure I did not cause a massive fire! *I do not recommend using naked flames, or cutting glass as it can cause serious injury!!!
Below is the finished piece. I recommend full screen and HD. I welcome feedback / constructive criticism.
Settings used were:
Exposure: 20-25 seconds
Format: Shot in RAW
White balance: 4000-5000 (adjusted in post to suit)
Picture Profile Setting was Landscape – (although was adjusted in post but it gave a good starting point)
F Stop: 2.8
Interval: 1-3 seconds between the 20 to 25 second exposures.
Camera: Canon EOS 7D
Lens: Tokina 11-16 F/2.8
Filter: a no name brand UVF purely to protect the lens.
Tripod: Weifeng WF-717A
Intervalometer: Yongnuo TC-80N3a
Memory Card: Kingston 16GB CF
Music: from incomputech.com
I hope this has been a useful and informative post. It certainly has been educational and fun for me! If your unsure about having a go at timelaspe I’d strongly encourage you to pick some settings, take afew test shots, adjust them, test some more, then just have a go. The more you shoot the better they will become. For more information on timelaspe and general shooting, check out Preston Kanak’s website and also The Red Owl aka Tom Baurain did this tutorial on RAW Timelaspe workflow
About the author: John-Jo has been working in Canada for the last 6 months and is now in New Zealand waiting for the Snow season to start. He will be making films in Wanaka for Treble Cone and The Rookie Academy.