I shot 138 timelapses this year in 4 countries and 6 states. The video below is my top 15 of the year!
Recently I’ve been on a Timeslice obsession which a several photos in 1! Since I have several sunrise and sunset timelapse I can combine photos I shot from the video into 1 through Photoshop layers. I usually take about 24 photos per each timeslice and stitch them together evenly spaced. I have some from California, New York, Japan, Spain, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Washington DC. Hope you enjoy! I’ll be doing more of these in the future for sure!
What’s your favorite?
Last weekend I went to Mt. Washington in Pittsburgh to shoot a timelapse of Heinz Field before the game (Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Cleveland Browns) started as the stadium was filling. Mt. Washington has some great perspectives of the city, including Heinz Field. I got to Mt. Washington about 1130 and started shooting at ten second intervals. I was trying to get the crowds and boats moving in and out. I figured ten seconds was a good time considering any longer the boats would have been difficult to appreciate. I think the timelapse turns out pretty cool when the boats unload people in front of the stadium and then leave and come back!
I used my zoom lens (55.0 – 300 mm) at 110 mm in the beginning. I was using ISO 100 and f/16 in Manual Exposure and sunlight white balance. Once the game started I then tried my zoom lens to 240 mm for 120 shots and then 300 mm for another 120 shots (at 3 second intervals each) to get more detailed crowd movement. I merged the three timelapses together to give a zoom effect to the video. I really love the movement of people through the stadium once I zoomed a bit further. I’m very happy with the results. The weather was perfect with the sun behind the stadium so it was lit really well! Thanks for reading!
Fallingwater is one of the iconic homes built by Frank Lloyd Wright. About 90 minutes from Pittsburgh, this home lies inside the forest of the Laurel Highlands region of Pennsylvania. The home was built into Bear Run and includes waterfalls into its design. Looking at the weather I realized we had an opportunity to see the home during a snowfall which I imagined would look beautiful! The area has a pretty nice overlook of the home and waterfall so I set up my camera and tripod with a 1/4 second shutter speed at ISO 100 and f/20 using my 18.0-55.0 mm kit lens. I set the composition with both waterfalls and included lots of the forest which had the fresh snowfall on the trees and branches! I used an interval of 8 seconds. The video turned out pretty well but one improvement would be a faster interval near 1-3 seconds since a lot of the snowfall resembles flicker which can be removed to some degree but more difficult when a big wind comes through and moves the trees! Photographing fast moving weather is what I find most challenging with timelapses.
The only complicating thing about this timelapse was the snowfall! I didn’t want the snow to land on the lens and create smudges or spots in the timelapse. Hence, an umbrella! Worked perfectly and the entire time not a single spot was on the lens. The camera lens was perfectly dry at the end! See some of the behind the scene photos below!
Check out the beginning and end shots and the difference between them with snow falling!
I’ve been working on my top 2016 videos recently and decided to release a short film highlighting my favorite timelapses of the year. See the video below! The timelapses included are from New York City, Washington DC, California, Oregon, Pennsylvania, and Japan! Looking forward to more in 2017!
Last week we had a small amount of snowfall in Western Pennsylvania. The fresh snowfall was a good opportunity to go shoot timelapses since scenery is so much more pretty after a fresh snowfall and the amount of snow wasn’t too much to prevent us from driving to great spots. We went to Fallingwater PA (where the Frank Lloyd house is built) and Ohiopyle State Park. Both waterfalls were within 10 minutes of each other and in the Laurel Highland region of Pennsylvania which is about 90 minutes from Pittsburgh.
The first location was at Fallingwater where the snow was falling down pretty steadily for a half hour or so in the afternoon. After the snow ended, we went to the waterfall upstream of the house and I set up the Syrp Genie Mini with a darkened UV filter to get a decently long exposure (near a half second at 0.4 seconds). I usually find that longer exposures (above 1 second) don’t show much movement in the waterfall since the streams are pretty static with a long exposure. Therefore, I try to target about a half second.
My other camera settings were manual exposure at f/20 and ISO 200 using my 28 mm f.2/8 prime lens. I slightly underexposed the image because the sun was moving in and out a bit and I didn’t want to blow out the scene when it was lit by the sun. MY Syrp Genie Mini was set with a 4 second interval to allow enough time for rotation. I ended up using a 9 degree rotation in 373 images which is about 0.5-0.6 degrees per second of video. I try and stay below 1 degree per second of rotation to ensure the video can be enjoyed. I find that faster rotations just pan too quickly to enjoy a slow exposure timelapse.
Ohiopyle State Park
The second video is from Ohiopyle State Park which has an accessible waterfall. The river was flowing real strong and with the fresh snowfall it had some beautiful surroundings. Again, I ended up using a 0.5 second interval at f/22 and ISO 100 in Manual Exposure. I did not use a panning motion here since my 28 mm lens had the waterfall framed pretty well for the timelapse. The slow zooming was done in post editing with Adobe After Effects keyframes to provide slow motion into the waterfall. The video turned out really well with the waterfall and if you notice there are two people waking along the river on the far side of the image that gives some scale! Really cool!
Two nights ago I tried my first night hyperlapse. I’ve done plenty of hyperlapses before but they have all been during the day. My hesitation for a night hyperlapse was the use of a tripod (especially when I travel). Usually I shoot hyperlapses hand-held during the day where my shutter speeds can be quick enough that I don’t need a tripod. This has some advantages obviously shooting in crowded areas and more flexibility. However, the longer shutter speeds are more visually appealing and provide a more cinematic effect.
I tried my first night hyperlapse in Pittsburgh on the North Shore in front of PNC Park and the Allegheny River. I was trying to get close to 200 shots while moving alongside the river every 2-3 feet. The riverwalk had pavement with blocks so I was moving three times in every block as evenly as possible.
One other thing I needed for this shot was a hand-held remote shutter for my camera. I did not want to press the shutter and potentially blur the image. I was moving my tripod every 2-3 feet, making sure I was focused, and pressing my remote, and then moving forward. Each photo focused on the same location using my focus grid. I focused on the tall UPMC U.S Steel Building. You can see in the video that the movement rotates around the tallest skyscraper.
I was moving about 14-20 seconds per shot with a 5 second shutter speed (f/9.0, ISO 400) for each photo. Another detail to keep constant is the focal length if you have a zoom lens. Just make sure you don’t touch the lens if it can move easily.
Another tip that quickly learned is to move your tripod legs together. If you focus on moving one tripod leg then the other ones might move closer together. You want to have the same height and angle for each shot to keep it as steady as possible. In the end I was moving two legs together, fully extended outwards to make sure everything was closely aligned.
Overall, the video turned out really well. The whole video took about 60 minutes to shoot (a day hyperlapse would be half the speed in 30 minutes) but the image is much more beautiful.
Thanks for reading!