Yesterday evening I drove over to Camden, NJ to take a timelapse of the waterfront that overlooks the Philadelphia, PA skyline and Benjamin Franklin bridge that connects Pennsylvania and New Jersey.
Sunset was going to be around 6:50 PM so I arrived around 6 PM to find my location and get set-up. I found a good location that was close enough to the bridge and water. I had to use my 18.0 – 55.0 mm lens since I thought I was a bit too far with my 28 mm lens. I was hoping to see the sun set over the city and then use my Syrp GenieMini to pan across the water and towards the bridge as the sun set. The sun set was going right over the city but this was when the sun was low. The skyscrapers are a bit higher in the skyline so the sun didn’t go through them but the colors and scene were still pretty cool. I ended up setting my timelapse for about an hour and the motion was set four degrees in that time. Sometimes it amazes me how much the rotation is – even four degrees was a lot of movement. Ten degrees would have rotate way too much for the composition with the bridge.
I set up my interval for 15 seconds in between shots at f/10, ISO 400 in Aperture priority. I also ended up using Auto White Balance since the colors can potentially change a lot during sunset.
As I was shooting, I realized the light would not change too much until the sun set below the city and my 15 second interval was likely too much. I usually try to have 15-20 seconds intervals on sunrise and sunsets since that would be the longest my shutter might be open but for this scenario my shutter never dragged more than 1 second! I probably could have used 10 second intervals retrospectively for more time seeing the sun going down and other things moving across the water like boats.
The sunset was pretty cool I thought and there were some clouds which were nice. As the sun set there were a lot of bugs that came off the water and you can see some random spots in the video (those are bugs…) but they were only around for ten minutes. Take some bug spray for water sunset shots in the summer. Lesson learned!
Towards the end of this something happened with my camera and I am not sure yet what actually happened but I got error messages with about ten minutes left. The sun had long set and I was ready to go so it wasn’t too big of a deal but I did notice that one photo skipped in the sequence while editing for a 30 second interval. I think something was wrong with the connection for the Syrp GenieMini that missed the timer. I’ll have to do a test on the camera before my next video.
The editing wasn’t bad on this either. The LR Timelapse deflicker did a great job and I set up my photos to change brightness and white balance during the sequence based off my exposure curves from the software. Overall, turned out pretty well! I would like to try a manual exposure day to night timelapse next I think! Here are two images from beginning and end of the sequence.
Nikon D7100, 18.0 – 55,0 mm, 38.0 mm
Aperture Priority Mode, f/10, ISO 400, Auto White Balance
Syrp Genie Mini, 4 degree rotation in 70 minutes