My Timelapse Equipment and Workflow: Part II

Disclaimer, I am not paid by any companies/brands mentioned in this post. I am just giving some love and admiration to the equipment and tools that I use.

This will honestly probably be the least detailed part of the post just because camera settings and MoCo settings generally change quite a bit, there really is now golden rule when it comes to this kind of stuff. You just set your camera’s exposure accordingly for the light that is present and go crazy. Something that I can go a bit more into detail on is the ML intervalometer settings. The general rule of thumb I go by is one based off of distances and speeds. So for example, the four main things to take into consideration when dealing with objects in motion are: clouds, vehicles, water, and people.

The one that I tend to focus the most on are the clouds, and it is the thing I base most of my intervalometer settings off of. For example, the slower the clouds are moving, the longer the interval can be (this is really a large part of an aesthetic choice), and vice-versa. I usually tend to have an interval of 5 to 7 seconds for average to slightly faster cloud movement, if clouds are fewer and slower, then I usually aim between 10 and 15 seconds. Another thing to take into consideration is shutter speed, as this determines whether the timelapse is more static or fluid and dynamic (think motion blur and all that good stuff). So this means slow shutter speeds = more fluid/dynamic timelapse, but there are situations where it might be way too bright to shoot at, say, .5 seconds, this is where the neutral density filters come in.

Moving forward now, a special situation for both the camera settings and intervalometer settings is shooting astro-timelapses. There is a little bit of math involved when shooting astro-timelapses, and it is used to calculate the shutter speed that should be used for your camera. The calculation is to take 500 and divide it by the focal length of the lens you plan on using (the wider the better, you’ll see why), remember if you’re using a APS-C sensor or similar you NEED to calculate the 35mm equivalent of the lens focal length (14mm on APS-C = 22.4mm). This equation results in the maximum shutter speed you can use without getting star trails, so lets do some math:

500 / (14mm x 1.6 (APS-C Crop Factor)) = 22.32 second max exposure.

Another thing to note when shooting astro-timelapses: Use the largest aperture lens you own. When shooting astro-timelapse you absolutely need all the light that you can get so your camera can see as much light as possible.

It is really a lot of trial and error, and just finding out the limitations of the equipment and adjusting until you get it down.

That is it for now! Check back next week for the final part, where I discuss how I turn the photos into a timelapse video.

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