D810 Time Lapse - Phase 2

Started Aug 20, 2014 | Discussions thread
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Paul Richman
Paul Richman Veteran Member • Posts: 3,923
D810 Time Lapse - Phase 2

Well, 30,000 clicks and a few weeks later, I now find myself in a different phase with my new interest in D810 Time Lapse. If my D810’s are going to suffer all these clicks, then I want all the pixels, and the latitude of RAW. Hence I’m now using Interval Timer shooting rather than Time Lapse. Here’s my favorite shot from my new video:

Click here to see the video itself. Here's its description:

Once every few years, I find myself in the right place at the right time to witness a close-by, brightly lit, huge, beautifully shaped cumulus cloud. This time, I documented it not just with still shots, but also with this time-lapse video. I used multiple high-res cameras (Nikon D810s) and various focal lengths. Thanks to the high resolution of the images, I was able to make this full HD movie (and even a 4K version) while still cropping footage in various interesting ways.

Clouds have always fascinated me. They can create such fleeting abstract beauty in the sky. Soft sculptures of worldly creatures sometimes appear briefly. As a photographer, I appreciate the extent to which esthetic cloud formations can enhance photographs.

When you look at clouds in real time, they seem to stand still. Look at a time lapse movie like this one, with real time speed up by a factor of 48, and you see how they form and change.

Finding the right software turned out to be key in developing my new workflow. I tried several Mac apps, and found one to be perfect for my present interest in cloud time lapse videos: Time-Lapse. It enables creating animated cropping rectangles so that a time lapse movie can zoom around anywhere within a (36 MP) image sequence. It’s easy to learn, inexpensive, and offers several other valuable features, which you can read about on their website.

Being able to zoom in justifies (at least for me) the use of a high MP camera for making time lapse videos. During image acquisition, I can zoom out to make sure I capture all the action, and then zoom in when making videos.

All one really needs is 24fps in a time lapse video. I find that one shot every two seconds gives my cloud videos the pace (48x) I want. I use manual exposure, manual focus and daylight WB to keep those variables fixed across frames. Of course I shoot on tripod, optical viewfinder closed, mirror up, first curtain shutter. Lightroom does a great job of dealing with the large number of files - typically about 480 for a 20 sec clip covering 16 minutes of real time.

Since someone is likely to ask, D810 shutter replacement costs about $300 and takes about 2 weeks.

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Paul Richman
Pixels By Paul
"There's a good picture nearby. Find it. Take it. Share it."

 Paul Richman's gear list:Paul Richman's gear list
Olympus PEN-F Olympus E-M1 II Olympus Zuiko Digital 1.4x Teleconverter EC-14 Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 60mm 1:2.8 Macro Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 75mm F1.8 +9 more
Nikon D810
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