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
On Saturday my brother and I went to Brooklyn for a day trip. We visited Governor’s Island and walked around Brooklyn. The sunset was at 830 pm and I wanted to do a day to night timelapse of the city from Brooklyn with the sun setting over the buildings. I was at the iconic Brooklyn Bridge Park with the piers overlooking the skyline. I got there about 7-715 pm and started taking photos with 6 second intervals. On a side note, I was closer to the water as the sun was going down originally but a security guard kicked off about 10 photographers to the walkway. Oh well, I still thought there might be some awesome color as the sun went down and it didn’t disappoint.
I was shooting in manual exposure with my 28 mm f/2.8 prime lens using my Nikon D7100. My original exposure was f/13, ISO 400, 1/125 seconds. I took close to 850 photos until 915 pm (45 minutes after sunset). The clouds and colors were amazing. The reflections of the water were simply stunning!
I kept shooting after the sun went down to capture the lights turning on in the skyline. My exposure was eventually 5.0 seconds at ISO 800. I started to ramp the ISO higher towards the end because I had a 6 second interval and need at least a 1 second buffering time in-between photos.
All my editing was done with LRTimelapse, Lightroom, and Adobe Premiere Pro for some minor warp stabilization since I bumped the camera a little bit during one of my shutter speed adjustments.
Overall this turned out perfect (minus the security guard) but lesson learned make sure you are in a spot you won’t get kicked off if you are going to be there for a long time.
Hopefully you enjoy the video and happy 4th of July!
Some nights you just get lucky with the sunset!
Last night I went to Red Hook in Brooklyn to take some photos at Pier 44. The pier this weekend was going to be a perfect spot with the sunset angle for the Statue of Liberty. I drove there, left about 6 pm and got there around 730 (there was a shut down bridge and an accident on the way…so glad I left early). Anyways, I could tell right away that the night was going to be epic for the sunset. The sky was already orange about 30-45 minutes before sunset!
I started my timelapse with the intention of staying until nightfall because it was such a beautiful night. I had to use my 70-300 mm kit lens to get the right composition. I wanted the Statue of Liberty to clearly be the subject of the photo but as you can see the pier is still a bit away from the island. I ended up being at 155 mm with my Nikon D7100 (crop sensor). I was in manual exposure with f/13 and ISO 400.
My first photos were at 1/320 seconds (my last photos were at 5 second shutter speeds) since I was shooting right into the sun and I didn’t change the exposure for quite a bit until the sun started going down more. I was using an 8 second interval and ended up staying for 800+ photos so close to two hours of shooting. The timelapse ended up EPIC and PERFECT with the colors and sun doing down below the horizon. The sun even aligned with the American flag near the horizon which was real cool.
After the sun started going down I was decreasing my shutter speed pretty much every 10 photos. I try and change the shutter speed at minimum 10 photos because I will ultimately need to smooth the transitions in LRTimelapse and Lightroom and the more changes there are it becomes tougher and tougher to have smooth videos. The 10 photo rule works pretty nicely in my opinion with an 8-12 second interval which is typical for my sunset timelapse.
The amount of boats going back and forth was my only concern but it looked ok in the video. I was afraid with the 8 second interval that they would look like flashes of light but they moved around quite a bit. As night fell, the Statue of Liberty started to light up which was awesome.
Overall, I am incredibly pleased with the video and results and feel extremely lucky! One of my best timelapses for sure!
Thanks for reading! Let me know if you have any questions
Well today is a rainy day….so I thought I’d write about another video from last week where I visited New York City and Central Park. One of the spots I had wanted to check out was the Bow Bridge which is famous from a lot of photos and movies. The bridge has a little bench area right next to the water which was perfect. The clouds were moving in and out of sunshine and there were a lot of paddle boats.
I was trying to use a shutter speed near 1 seconds to get some motion blur with the boats and people. The river is pretty narrow at the bridge and with my 18-55 mm lens I really couldn’t go any wider for panning motion. I was using ISO 100 and f/22 with a UV filter to drag the shutter speed a little longer. I set my interval at 3 seconds for 300 total photos since I was trying to capture and blur the motion of people and boats.
The video below shows the scene from my phone and you can see its a bit cloudy and dark outside. But I ramped up the exposure in my camera and editing to lighten the scene a bit. Overall, this turned out really nice! I am sure this would be epic in the fall!
This past weekend I went into New York City for a photography trip. I occasionally go into the city for a day just taking photos because there is always plenty to do. I checked out Central Park, the Guggenheim Museum, and Grand Central Terminal. The weather could have been a bit better but overall turned out to be a pretty good day.
This first shot is from Grand Central Terminal where I got on the 2nd floor taking photos of the terminal overlooking the American flag. I set my shutter speed at 1 second to get some motion blur with the people. I think this is pretty important to make the motion of people look smooth as opposed to quick moving ants. I had to be at ISO 800 and f/8.o although I realized after the fact that I forgot to take off my UV filter. The UV filter probably added at least a stop or two of darkness.
The interval was 2 seconds to allow at least one second for each photo. In the behind the scenes video you can hear the quick interval. Plus I like to use short intervals for people movement because a lot happens quick when people are moving through a train station. I took about 300 photos for this timelapse which turned out pretty nice!
Stay tuned for more videos this week from Central Park!
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 evening I drove to Liberty State Park again in Jersey City to take a timelapse of the Manhattan Skyline. Yesterday evening was Earth Hour which is an hour each year where cities and buildings turn off lights to conserve energy. Check out the site: https://www.earthhour.org/
I was hoping the NYC skyline would have a dramatic difference at 830! Win for the environment and my timelapsing! I started shooting about 815 PM with a 5 second interval. I wasn’t necessarily planning on staying long, just enough for a 15-20 second video with a cool before and after.
My other settings were ISO 500 and a 2 second shutter speed with f/8.0 in Manual exposure. I was using my 18-55mm Kit Lens at 34 mm with my Nikon D7100.
The sky was very gloomy since it was raining lightly most of the day but at least the skyline was still visible.
Once 830 hit a few buildings turned off their lights and you can see in the video but the WTC and the other main buildings didn’t. The Empire State building did though which was out of this scene further midtown. Hopefully next year there will be more participation! I always enjoy shooting NYC though, I still think its beautiful even with a gloomy sky. Thanks for reading!