Production Notes – 7-30-13
Apologies about not posting a video this month. Mainly it was due to a battery inconsistency. Those who are in the area of buying batteries do not buy the Anker 20,000 mAh (for the Emotimo at least). Unfortunately there are a few spec differences other than capacity between this and the 10,000 mAh model. In short, the battery stops supplying power to the Emotimo after various amounts of time (15’ – 1.5 hours). This basically resulted in sequences amounting to anywhere from 15 frames to 110 frames (of which I need at least 300).
Canon 5D mkii, 7D, 60D
Rokinon 14mm t/ 3.1
Tokina 11mm – 16mm f/ 2.8
Dynamic Perception Stage Zero Dolly
Emotimo TB3 Orange
Shot 1 – 3 – San Antonio Mission, Cupertino
Shot 4 – Island Reggae Festival, Great America, Santa Clara
Shot 10, 11 – Los Gatos hills
Originally this was a supposed to be a first step to a post blend shot. The shape of the tree intrigued me. The bare limbs held a forbidding mood to it. Unfortunately during the night portion, the battery failed. I only got 15 frames. I plan on getting this shot again after getting more batteries.
Luckily I had a second camera set up looking up at the tree. I originally set up this camera during sun set, and I forgot to stop the iris down to 2.8 . What resulted was a large amount of noise, and a noticeable amount of dead pixels. However, I like how the sky is split into two portions by the tree, almost acting as a transformer of some kind (the right side is light from the neighboring highway).
Again, I suffered from battery errors in this motion. And also I forgot to reset the aperture. Fun fact: at a t stop of 5, there is noticeably less noise between the Canon 5D mkii and 60D. I only wish this motion could have been completed. It starts to get more interesting as the clouds come into frame.
San Antonio Mission Tree
This was taken during a concert coverage I was hired for with Bay Tiger Productions. I thought the blend between day and night using people instead of a large expanse was unique. However, in retrospect I think it would have been better to use a crop sensor with the Tokina 11mm-16mm. That way I could put an ND filter on and use a slower shutter speed for the crowd. Another factor, however, was time (which I didn’t have during the concert).
You can actually check out the video here:
Taken during Independence Day, I was showing some friends some of my Time Lapse toys. I feel like this is fairly standard shot. Clouds are fairly easy to capture since you can gauge your interval and shutter speed by the speed of the clouds. Here, they moved very slowly: I chose a slower interval (normally I would use 3” for faster movie clouds). In the future, I’d like to do longer exposure, and faster intervals for clouds, in order to get a milky feel.
JA actually made this shot. He used different gels on his flash, and we used a 30″ exposure.
Though not the most visually satisfying piece, there is one portion where I get up and do a little motion with my arms. I’d like to do a little animation during a large festival of some sort where I do a similar choreographed action.
This was actually the product of me testing the Anker 10,000 mAh to see if it could last over night powering both the Emotimo and TB3. And by golly it does. I checked after 8 hours and it still held one cell left of power. Though not the most interesting motion (in my opinion due to lack of stars), it was great to see the clouds in a different light.
AA’s residence is always a great spot of test shots because of the darker area where she lives. This actually failed again because of the battery issue. I was only able to get 120 frames, instead of the 400 I wanted. It’s easy to see the difference between this and shot 8 (City vs Rural).
Another great advantage of AA’s residence is being able to use their roof. For those of you who have been following, it is the same roof that you keep seeing. Here I use a 7D instead of a 60D because I had sent it out for repair. So instead of using the Magic Lantern firmware on the 60D, I had to use the MX2 controller.
I had originally set it for an exuberant 1000 frame shot, but only got 200. The reason was because I didn’t account for the long writing period when Noise Reduction mode is enabled in the settings. If you were to activate this setting in the menu, it takes a little over 40” to write the image onto the card, depending on which card speed you use. I don’t recommend it, unless you’re using a longer lens at night. Also, later at night, condensation occurred on my lens, making images past 170 to be blurry.
Word of advice: make sure your shot is in focus. What I ran into trouble here was choosing to focus on the foreground. In the future, I’ll have to mask the image in order to make it focused on both. It was really great however lightly capture the Milky Way.
After a month of failed batteries, it was great to finally have a motion captured in its entirety. Despite the number of cars passing by, I felt this shot was fantastic. It had a great area to use as foreground, and the low light allowed me to keep the shutter open for far less noise. However, in the interest of time, I decided to do a 20” exposure vs 30.” Doing time lapse alone can be lonely. And scary.
Big thanks to @ZeekMedia for coming along with me for the San Antonio shoot. Check out his Instagram (Same name). Thanks also for keeping me company when we heard the wolf howls.
Also, big thanks to a few friends – MT, SM, and CW – for inviting me to the Los Gatos shots. It was my first time being in a group of people doing different things. Definitely something I’d like to do again sometime.
Other than advice, some other advice is to always bring some one with you for night shots. During the Los Gatos shoot, at 11:50 PM a man came by and talked to us about doing some model photography. He continued to stay near the location (in the mountains) until near 1 am. Bizarre indeed.
Also, make sure to bring sunscreen and bug spray for your legs. I had a really bad itch on my legs for near a week.
Despite the problems with the battery, I learned more about what to look out for August. I only wish Borrow Lenses rented out time-lapse equipment.
Follow me on Instagram if you want to see my time-lapse travels and comic books @arnelephant.