Portugal – Day 1 (Lisbon and Sintra)

We finally arrived in Portugal!  The plan is to stay two nights in Lisbon and three nights in Porto.  After an overnight flight from Newark we were ready to begin our journey.  We arrived around 830 in the morning and got to our hotel in central Lisbon near 1030.  Not too bad of an airport or customs experience at all!  The trains are also really convenient in Lisbon with clear maps and stations everywhere.  Our flight was a bit tiring considering the constant turbulence but we still had to make most of the day.

The weather was a bit iffy, not too cold at about 55 deg F but some rain and fog.  I was hoping the clouds would clear up.  We decided to head for a day trip to Sintra which is about 45 min away by train from Lisbon.  We bought n all day train pass including the Metro so it was easy getting back and forth.

Sintra sits on top of a hill with a castle and palace.  The town itself is pretty cool with very narrow and windy roads and lots of shops.  There is a town bus that takes a loop around all the destinations and most importantly take you up the hill!  The castle and palace sit on top of the hill so it was even a bit more windy and foggy.

The first location we visited was Castle of the Moors.  The castle is from the 9th century and sits overlooking the town.  The views were amazing…when they weren’t covered by fog!  I found a composition with the castle wall and town that seemed pretty cool.  The fog was moving incredibly fast so I was hoping to get a shot of the castle and fog going in and out.  For this shot, I used a 1 second interval at 1/250 second shutter speed with ISO 400 and f/9.0 with my 28 mm f/2.8 lens.  The video turned out pretty cool with the fog moving so quickly.  I wish I could do an interval faster than 1 second though!


The next spot was the Palacio de Pena which is a beautiful palace very close to the castle full of colors and neat little walkways.  The location was honestly so cloudy and misty that I could not find a single photo to take for a timelapse.  I was trying to play around with a hyperlapse but nothing worked….

20171214_100716After Sintra we took the train back to Lisbon and went to the movie theatre to relax.  We watched Star Wars which was great!  The movie theatre was underneath an old bull fighting ring called Campo Pequeno.  The mall was in the basement of this theatre so after the movie I stopped for a timelapse of the stadium and streets which turned out to be pretty cool.  For this timelapse I used a 2 second interval with a 1 second shutter speed at ISO 800 and f/11.  I used a 2 interval since the cars were moving pretty quick and I need at least one second in-between photos for the camera and memory card to reset for the next photo.  I think the video turned out great with the street and crowds in front of the stadium!


Afterwards we went back to the hotel and saw our street lit up for Christmas.  The lights around Lisbon have been really cool so far!  Long day but a great adventure so far!


Keep up to date for more posts from Portugal!



Sandy Hook Twin Lights Sunset Timelapse

Yesterday evening I drove to Sandy Hook, NJ to take a sunset timelapse of the Twin Peaks Lighthouses.  The lighthouses overlook the Sandy Hook area and the sun was setting behind the lighthouse so I thought it was a good chance to get a pretty cool timelapse.


DSC_8477The sun was covered by high clouds so I was optimistic of some good sunset colors.  I got there about 345 pm (for a 4:41 PM sunset).  I set my interval at 10 seconds and used my 55-300 mm lens.  I was debating how close to get to the lighthouse, I decided for some perspective for the light since I was hoping the lighthouse would be more apparent as it darkened outside.  My final focal length was 72 mm.  My first shots were at f/22 and ISO 100 with a shutter speed of 1/100 seconds.

The sun set behind the light house which was pretty cool and then the light was going off and on.  I was hoping it would be more of a rotating light but it was still pretty cool to see it turn on and become lighter.

The sunset didn’t really turn out that great but I still stayed through for the day to night timelapse. My last shot was at 4 second shutter speed, with ISO 500 and f/11.  I usually ramp up the ISO to 400 and aperture to f/11 to keep everything sharp at the end of the shot.  If apertures get below f/10 it may become apparent that depth of field sharpness is becoming shallower.  I ended up staying until 530 pm, about 40-45 minutes after sunset so that it gets dark.


Overall the video turned out really nice, I would like to go back another day for a closer shot too since this is a pretty nice and quiet area for timelapses!

Fall Adventure in New Jersey

Last weekend I drove to the Appalachian Trail to explore the fall colors of New Jersey.  I went to the Stairway to Heaven Trail, the Boardwalk Trail, and High Point State Park.  All spots were awesome.  My first one was the Stairway to Heaven Trail where I spotted a cool composition of a hillside landscape.


For this video I ended up shooting only 10 seconds of video with a ISO 100, 1/25 sec, f/22 with my 28 mm f/2.8 lens.  I was using a 2 second interval since it was pretty windy and the clouds and shadows were moving fairly quickly.

The next location was the Appalachian Trail Boardwalk which was only about 10 minutes away.  I was walking around for a bit looking for a good spot but didn’t find anything too appealing so I decided to do a hyperlapse on the boardwalk.  For this hyperlapse I was shooting at 1/400 seconds since I was doing a handheld hyperlapse.  I took a photo every single plank and moved down the boardwalk.  I focused on the tree on the right side of the image every photo to maintain a steady shot in editing.  I came up with 310 photos surprisingly which also makes editing easier!


Afterwards I went to High Point State Park, the leaves in the area were awesome colors and I wanted a nice viewpoint of the hillsides and landscape!  High Point State Park is the highest point in New Jersey so that was perfect!


My timelapse video was using the Syrp Genie Mini for a nice panning timelapse.  I wanted to capture movement in the landscape with the shadows on the hills.  I used a 2.5 second interval for rotating near 15 degrees.  My settings were  f/13, 1/400, and ISO 40.  I wanted to capture the movement without too much wind impact!


My last location was at High Point State Park again but at the lake overlooking the monument.  The trees, waters, and clouds set a perfect scene here.  For this shot I decided to us a ND filter to slow the shutter speed which smoothed out the water.  I was at a 3 second shutter speed with ISO 400 and f/13.  My interval was 5 seconds to allow buffering time for the photos.

Overall pretty good day with 4 videos and awesome locations that capture the fall beauty of northern New Jersey!

China Town, Manhattan Sunset Trip

Last weekend I drove to Brooklyn to take photos of the sunset and Brooklyn Bridge. Last year I went to the Manhattan Bridge for a sunset shot and knew that there were some good views of China Town.  I was waiting for the bridge to line up with the sunset over China Town and this was happening in October.  The weather looked perfect so I drove to Brooklyn and walked across to China Town.

It turned out perfect! The only negative about shooting on the Manhattan Bridge are the trains.  They go by every few minutes and shake the bridge.  I had to ramp up my ISO to 1000 and kept the shutter speed at a target of 1/60 which is twice my focal length of a 28 mm lens.

20171007_181044The video turned out awesome though.  The sunset was absolutely epic!  The sky turned orange with some really cool clouds.  I was using a 12 second interval.  I had to end up deleting about 20 photos or from my sequence because they ended up blurry with the train shake.  But this is barely noticeable in the video!  I had to stop before night because my shutter speed was getting too long but I am happy with the result

ChinaTown Sunset-466

China Town Sunset

Hopefully you enjoy the video!


New York City Sunrise from Jersey City

This weekend I went to Jersey City, NJ at Exchange Place to shoot a sunrise timelapse.  Jersey City has some great views of the Manhattan Skyline, especially during sunrise as the sun comes over the skyline.

I started shooting my timelapse at 530 AM (about one hour before sunrise).  The mood was pretty foggy which I thought might lead to some nice colors but what happened was surprising!



The fog was clearing and coming back the entire morning and staying in the city which was weird!

I was using my 28 mm f/2.8 lens in manual exposure.  I set my interval to 11 seconds.  My first shots were at ISO 500, 6 second shutter speed and f/11.  I gradually decreased my ISO, then shutter speed and aperture during the course of the shoot.  I ended up at ISO 100, 1/40 seconds, and f/22.

I ended up staying until 830 AM which was about a three hour shoot since the clouds were so majestic.  The clouds were moving through the city and the sun even started to peak through the skyline!

20170916_072623After the sun started rising with the clouds and skyline it even formed a shadow with the World Trade Center which I never could have imagined seeing! I tried to capture it with my phone below.DSC_1918


Overall this turned out to be a pretty nice timelapse with the city and clouds! Glad I woke up early for the shoot and stayed for the three hour and 800 + photos!



New York City Skyline Sunset Reflection Timelapse

Yesterday evening I drove to Jersey City, NJ to take a timelapse.  I was planning on taking a timelapse of the Colgate clock which is right across from Liberty State Park.  However, I only had my 28 mm lens f/2,8 and this wasn’t wide enough to get a nice composition without looking too cluttered.

I walked around for a bit looking for a shot and found a pier which started to have some nice reflections of the sun as it set across the river.


Since the sun sets pretty fast, I used an interval of 3 seconds to get the sun moving across the buildings.  I was not planning staying through darkness because I had to catch a ferry at 755 PM to get home but I still had plenty of time for a nice timelapse.

My first shits were at ISO 500, f/9.0, 1/300 seconds.  I took about 700 photos in close to 30 minutes.  My last shot was at 1/60.  The lights had just started to turn on in the skyline  I really liked the reflection of the sun on the buildings and water and perhaps another nice composition in the future is the water reflection.  Also zooming into the buildings or WTC might be a good idea in the future!


Thanks for reading!


Independence Hall – Hyperlapse

This Friday I went to Philadelphia for a short day trip.  We stopped near Independence Hall so I decided to take a timelapse…of course!  I was debating a long exposure timelapse with the crowds and cars but I thought this was a pretty standard shot.  I instead decided to do a hyperlapse from left to right of Independence Hall.  The ground had evenly spaced bricks so it was pretty easy to do. DSC_5278

My settings for the camera are pretty important during a hyperlapse, especially when doing it hand-held (without a tripod).  I was using manual exposure 1/500 sec, f/10, and ISO 800.  I typically prefer to use fast shutter speeds doing it manual to prevent camera shake and blurriness.  The 1/250 or 1/500 shutter speed is perfect for this type of shot.

After shooting about 275 photos. I merged them all into Adobe After Effects with Warp Stabilizer.  The smoothing worked perfectly since the shots were really close together (little movement between each).  The longer movements between shots create more camera shake and may require manual stabilization.

Thanks for reading!