Yesterday afternoon some friends and I drove to Brooklyn for the afternoon. I had taken timelapses of the Brooklyn Bridge before but never on the bridge itself! We had some Pizza at Grimaldi’s and then went for a walk to the bridge. I was looking to take some photos of the bridge and cars underneath since I thought it was a pretty cool scene. Towards the middle of the bridge there was an overlook of the driveway. I set up my little tripod near the floor and started shooting.
The cars were moving pretty fast so I used a 2 second interval. I used a variable ND filter and set my exposure to 0.5 seconds, ISO 100 and f/25. I used 0.5 seconds to blur the cars a little bit but also because the bridge was shaking quite a bit with al the traffic and people.
I was in manual exposure the entire time and only shot 200 photos. This timelapse was very quick, about 7 minutes. This shows you that timelapse doesn’t have to be long! The editing process is also much quicker with a short video since exposure doesn’t change much!
Overall the video turned out pretty nice! Worth the trip for sure!
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.
The 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
Hopefully you enjoy the video!
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!
After 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.
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!
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!
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.
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!
This morning I drove to Asbury Park Beach in New Jersey to shoot a sunrise timelapse. I woke up at 4AM to make it for the 6 AM sunrise. I love waking up early to see a sunrise its a perfect way to get your day started. I had scoped out a spot online where there a pier angled towards the sun.
When I got there the fog was pretty bad, even so driving towards the beach. The forecast for the day was clear and sunny so I was optimistic it would clear up as the sun started to show itself. And I was right!
Shooting a sunrise is a little bit difficult in my opinion, even more so a beach sunrise. I still struggle with determining the ideal shutter speed for a beach with the right interval. The long intervals make the waves looks way to fast. A slow shutter speed is ideal however it’s difficult to achieve a slow shutter speed once the sun comes up without a filter.
For this shot, I was going to try to ramp ISO and aperture while keeping shutter speed constant once I got to 1/1.3 seconds. I wanted to target around 1 seconds for my shutter speed. My first shots were at f/10, ISO 640, 6 seconds with my 28 mm f/2.8 prime lens. The 6 second shutter speed below really softens the water and waves.
I first started changing the shutter speed. The shutter speeds change real quick in a sunrise shot! I ended up going to 1/1.3 seconds with the same f/10 and ISO 640. Once I had to change my exposure again then I changed the ISO down slowly until ISO 100. Once the sun started peaking through the fog it was an amazing sight!
I continued adjusting my aperture until f/22 with ISO 100 and shutter speed 1/1.3 seconds. After that, I had to change my shutter speed to 1/30 seconds at the end of the video.
I think a better shot might have been tighter on the sun which would have fewer issues with waves but its tough to predict how the sun will rise.
I also had a bit of problem with condensation on my lens randomly in the middle of the video. My lens filter fogged up pretty much when the sun started to peak through. I was able to resolve it right away with a cloth only after a few shots. But its a good lesson learned to make sure your equipment is ok as temperature might change.
Overall this video turned out pretty nice! I think I like a 1-2 second exposure instead and will try that next time at a beach. A composition that avoids all the waves might also be preferred. I might want to try my variable ND filter too so that I can keep a constant shutter speed! I need more practice with these beach shots for sure.
Thanks for reading!
This past weekend I drove to Brooklyn to take a timelapse video of the American Copper Buildings and Empire State Building from Hunter’s Point South Park.
I had been planning on this site because of the American Copper Buildings. The two buildings are connected and I thought the sun peeking through the buildings during sunset would be a cool timelapse.
I got there about 630-645 and started shooting a timelapse with a 18 second interval. Since I was pretty much staring right at the sun, I could use a f/14, ISO 320. My shutter speed varied from 1/1250 second to 8 seconds at the end of the shot which I finished about 845 pm.
The shoot was a bit more challenging than normal because of the drastic light changes with the clouds in the beginning. I had to change my shutter speed from 1/250 to 1/1250 within a shot or two because of the sun moving through the clouds.
This might have been better with an aperture priority mode but my camera generally overexposes once the sun goes down so I prefer to shoot in manual.
I ended up with about 40 seconds of video in the end that turned out really great even with the light changes from the clouds. Too bad the clouds went away during sunset though, they would have provided some nice color!
Thanks for reading
Last week the Quick Chek New Jersey Balloon Festival was in town. This is one the largest hot air balloon festivals in the country with over 100 balloons launching. I went two of the three days (the second day was bad weather so there were no launches). My timelapse compilation is above from the festival in 4K. I thought it would be a good idea to list my top 5 tips for shooting a hot air balloon festival since its harder than you would think
Watch the first balloon – The first balloon launches about five minutes ahead of all the other balloons. The balloons don’t have any mechanism to steer other than the wind! So watching the first balloon go off will give you an idea of where all the other balloons will be headed. This is a key amount of time to scope the area and find a good location if you want a shot with all the balloons.
Go early – the launches are early in the morning (6 am) or later in the evening. The morning launches have a nice calm feel but there will still be plenty of people there! So don’t plan on arriving right a 6 AM because it might take a while to get parking. The evening launches will have a much more crowded and festival feeling so plan on going even earlier.
Find a spot behind strollers – Once the balloons start inflating and taking off people will stand up and take photos for a long time with their phones or cameras. They won’t care what’s behind them. You have to either be in a perfect or elevated position or like my tip says be behind some strollers. This is a good spot because no one can stand there and if a kid stands up it wont be taller than your tripod! Definitely do not stand behind of people sitting on chairs or blankets.
Use a fast (1 second) interval – The balloons will move faster than you think, I used a 2 second interval my first day and realized a one second interval would give a much better result with the amount of movement you want to see.
Ask where the balloons will inflate – the balloons can also inflate rather quick and if you don’t know where which balloons will inflate it might be a surprise. I would recommend asking around to see if people know where the cool (bees, flags, angry birds, etc.) balloons will inflate. It’s tough to react with a lot of balloons and people if you want to shoot a specific balloon. It could be inflated and off in the air before you know it!
Thanks for reading! Please let me know if you have any questions!