My Time-lapse Learning Experience In Chile

I'm really really late to the time-lapsing party. It's something I've been wanting to do for a long time. Last November and the early part of December, my wife and I visited our daughter and her husband in Los Riscos, Chile. It's the Northern Pantagonia region of Chile. The crown jewel is the Mt. Fuji of Chile - Volcan Osorno. We drove up to about the 6,000 feet level. There I attempted to do a few time-lapse sequences - testing both my patience and that of my family.

Learning is best accomplished by getting your hands dirty so to speak. I made several mistakes. I'm disappointed in the over all quality. But there it is. I'm baring my soul.

Some things I would do differently:

1) Sandbag the tripod. Man, it was howling windy up on the volcano. You can see the camera being buffeted by the 50+ mile per hour wind. At one point the wind gusted so strongly that it toppled my camera to the ground. Fortunately I was able to grab the camera before it struck the ground!

2) Use a lower interval between exposures. I spaced my exposures too far apart - about 5 seconds between each photo. The results are choppy.

3) I would prefer to use my old manual Nikor lenses to minimize flicker. Some suggest turning the lens on the mount until electrical contact is cutoff. However, my experience with the Canon 5D Mark II and the very heavy L glass lenses is that the lenses can easily fall off the mount. I'm not risking it. It's not worth it.

4) Read the manual! I attempted to use LRTimelapse to even out flicker and followed one of the more popular time-lapse video tutorials on the RAW workflow. It's basically wrong, but took me a good several hours of experimentation to realize that. Follow the instructions step-by-step on LRTimelapse's website and your time-lapsing life will be good. Too bad the video tutorials get this one wrong. The bottom line is you must open your RAW images in LRTimelapse BEFORE you open them up in Adobe Bridge, Lightroom, Camera RAW.

I assembled the time-lapse sequences in Adobe Effects. It's very simple to do, thanks to Chris Fenwick's helpful instruction. The final edit was assembled in... ah, you know, it doesn't even matter.

I'm going to keep on trying until I have some sequences that are of the calibre of Philip Bloom and Tom Lowe. This is my first step of a journey of ten thousand steps.

VideoCarl Olson1 Comment