Manhattan Bridge Sunset – New York City Tilt Shift Adventure Part 3


My last timelapse with the tilt-shift lens was from the Manhattan Bridge in China Town.  The sun was going to set behind the skyline and the clouds were going to be really cool so I decided to try a sunset to night timelapse from the bridge.  After a lot of walking and finding the bridge entrance and a good shooting location  I set up my tripod on the bridge right above FDR Highway which overlooks Manhattan and the Brooklyn Bridge.  The scene was really cool and I was hoping to try and use a manual aperture change during the sequence as the sun set.  The tilt-shift lens is entirely manual so the aperture is set with a ring which is pretty cool and this was my first experience doing something manual.  I figured that I could manually open the aperture as the sun set to let more light in and then smooth everything in LRTimelapse with the Holy Grail method.

I started my sequence at f/32, ISO 400, and 1/15″ second exposure.  I ended my sequence 1 hour and 6 minutes later (with a 15 second interval) at f/3.5, ISO 400, 0.4 second exposure.  I was personally hoping to see more of a tilt-shift effect from the high vantage point but I think the high aperture prevented that in the beginning and then the entire image lost focus at the end of the sequence.  Plus to complicate things, a train was moving by on the bridge every minute and this shook my camera A LOT.  The shaking you see in the buildings is due to the focus being blurry because of a train going by on the bridge.  The focus was also changing the entire timelapse because of the aperture opening.  In general I do not recommend this location for a timelapse!  You might get one good photo with a steady shot but anything is impossible for an extended period of time especially at night!

See first and last images below.  I think the scene is amazing and world-class.  The individual images are actually really pretty and I do like the last few images with the bokeh and blurriness.  I think they are pretty cool but in general this timelapse didn’t work out too well from a high quality perspective and tilt-shift perspective.


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