Timescapes - Digital Timelapse Discussion

Going to Utah for TL attempt
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Author:  cmeinecke [ Thu Sep 04, 2014 4:39 am ]
Post subject:  Going to Utah for TL attempt

I am new to time-lapse and ready to go on a trip to Utah to try my hand at it.
I'm all ready. I have a Canon Eos 70d,an interverlometer, a 64 GB card and four 32 GB cards, a Canon 10-24 mm lens, a Radian disc, heavy tripod, an understanding of how to process RAW pics with Bridge post production, hiking boots and tons of practice projects shooting TL videos in manual mode. I also bought a book on photographing the southwest (yet to arrive) which should give some location hints. I'm flying into LV and will drive from there and have 3 non- travel days.

Any advice? Should I stay at one park? One in particular? Zion? Bryce? Arches? Try to see more than one?

I would like to try my hand at a sunrise TL, a sunset TL and some star time lapses. Will hike during the day.

Thanks for having me in your forum!

Best regards,

Author:  jfgout [ Tue Sep 09, 2014 9:40 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Going to Utah for TL attempt

Arches is a fantastic park. I went there for the last lunar eclipse and I absolutely loved it (see pictures here: http://www.jfgout.com/Lunar-Eclipse-of-April-2014-Fr/).
Of course, Bryce, Zion, ... also look like great places.

I would recommend staying at one park, spending some time hiking to find the spots that you think are the best. For arches, there are plenty of great spots for sunsets and sunrises. The part called 'The great wall' would be a good candidate for sunrise time lapse as the wall faces East. You could probably time it with the Radian to get the sunset on the wall (the sun would still be under the horizon from your camera viewpoint) and rotate so that you get the actual sunset in the field of view towards the end. Also, the contrast of colors (green from Courthouse Wash / red from the Wall) might be a good one. Plenty of other options in the park for this type of images (Organ/Courthouse towers/...).

If you time it correctly, maybe you can catch a sunset lined up with balanced rock. Could be a cool one.

Of course, Delicate Arch is also a great place for time lapse, especially if you want to shoot the milky way. Will you be there during a time of full moon or new moon? Both have their pros/cons (spectacular moon rise/moon set or dark skies full of stars...).

Again, the other parks probably offer a ton of opportunities (I know only Arches so far...) but in any case, I think that staying in one park and getting the best out of it is better than rushing through all the parks and having only mediocre footage each time (unless you are a super pro and always get perfect footage from the first try).

Oh, and if you do some night time photography, make sure to dress extra warmly. Nights get cold up there, especially when you are not moving a lot, just waiting for the camera to be done...

Enjoy your trip !


Author:  cmeinecke [ Fri Sep 19, 2014 4:47 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Going to Utah for TL attempt

Thanks for the recommendations! I got your reply after my trip, and wish I had actually stayed the entire time at one park. Complicating issues however was that interstate 15 was closed from a flash flood (it completely washed out all earth underneath a section -- very impressive force). It took me 12 hours (!) instead of 2 to get to Zion with the detour. So I got limited Zion shots, but I was able to stay two days in Bryce. It did greatly help to scout out the good shot areas the night before. I learned quite a bit during this trip. One thing -- do not try to put too much rotation (I got a Radian) in a time lapse. It does not work. And when it is windy, it is really necessary to anchor the tripod to the ground -- the camera was shaking. So some time lapses were failures. But I did get enough to make a little movie. One benefit of the detour was that I had to return to Vegas the night before I flew out -- so I was able to do some unexpected vegas strip time lapses which ended up being the most entertaining shots of the trip I think.

Here is a link to my first TL movie. I did put in with some HD video shots of vegas. It's just so colorful there.


Thanks for the advice. I am heading Arches next. And I greatly enjoyed your link!

Best regards,

Author:  jfgout [ Wed Sep 24, 2014 1:11 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Going to Utah for TL attempt

Nice film Curt. I'm sure you are going to love Arches!

Concerning the wind issue, you can also suspend a bag under the tripods' head (some tripods have a hook for that) that you fill with rock/sand/water (whatever is easy to obtain). But if you use the Radian, I suspect some of the vibration comes from the radian itself. The rotating unit is a little bit loose, so the wind will make it move, no matter who stable the tripod is.



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