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 Hi from San Diego 
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Joined: Mon Jul 09, 2012 11:44 am
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Post Hi from San Diego
Hi, I have been lurking here for a some time now and figured it was time to join. I have been doing time lapse for a while, starting about 15 years ago using broadcast video cameras and shooting real time, then post processing. I have wandered into DSLR time lapse photography more recently and have just completed building a motorized dolly system which I am testing and hoping to use for a project I am working on out in the California desert. Anyways, thanks for the great info here. I hope I can contribute some of my work in the future, and I will definitely be asking you all for advice on bettering my system and techniques...
Cheers,
Chris


Mon Jul 09, 2012 1:25 pm
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Joined: Fri Dec 02, 2011 1:25 pm
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Location: San Diego, CA
Post Re: Hi from San Diego
Hey Chris, I just moved down to San Diego from Portland. Looking to get into some projects real soon. We should chat.

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Thu Sep 20, 2012 1:51 pm
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Joined: Wed Aug 04, 2010 12:29 am
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Post Re: Hi from San Diego
Hey guys! I moved to San Diego less than a year ago as well. Man, the weather that we have to put up with huh..

Anyways, I'm on a very limited budget for my timelapse hobby but do really love photography and timelapse. It would be great to chat sometime.

I hiked a little mountain next to Lake Hodges before coming into work today, dusted off my intervalometerand fired off some shots for the first time in quite some time.
-Jason


Thu Sep 20, 2012 1:59 pm
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Post Re: Hi from San Diego
Hi Guys, welcome to San Diego. Where in SD are you located? I'm up near Carlsbad.

Lance - I would love to pick your brain about using the Little Bramper. I am having a hard time mastering the day to night scenario....

Jason - I just hiked across the Lake Hodges pedestrian bridge last week looking for an interesting angle for time lapse.

Cheers,
Chris
chris@wildlandfilms.com


Fri Sep 21, 2012 11:07 am
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Joined: Wed Aug 04, 2010 12:29 am
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Post Re: Hi from San Diego
Cool! I don't live too far from that bridge.


Fri Sep 21, 2012 4:45 pm
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Location: San Diego, CA
Post Re: Hi from San Diego
Sure Chris, what issues are you having? I haven't done a huge amount of bramping shots but I have had some success with the ones in my recent Portland project.


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Fri Sep 21, 2012 7:02 pm
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Post Re: Hi from San Diego
Hi Lance, I can't seem to figure out the best time to start bramping and by how much. I either start too early or too late. I think the mistake I have made several times is trying to keep the shot well exposed instead of letting it go darker. But then I let it go too dark and I find myself frantically trying to catch up to get an exposure and I get these nasty exposure fluctuations instead of a smooth transition.
I've had some successes but also several epic fails... I've also had the thing lock up on me when I pushed it too far.
I wish there was a guide book for bramping.... :-)
Portland project looks great by the way. I remember reading the thread a while back about your "hand-held" technique. Nice work.
Chris


Fri Sep 21, 2012 8:00 pm
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Location: San Diego, CA
Post Re: Hi from San Diego
Have you read through these?
http://www.thewhippersnapper.com/Little ... ual_v3.pdf
http://www.thewhippersnapper.com/Little ... eet_v1.pdf

There are some helpful things to know in these documents. I had that same issue on my first attempt, I found that it's usually not a good idea to dramatically increase the ramping amount because suddenly you realize it's too dark or too bright. Letting the exposure time catch up smoothly usually looks better. And they say to monitor your levels on your camera's display. I haven't done this much, I seem to want to trust the image itself rather than the levels.

Here is a trick that I started doing: Since the intervals are usually pretty long in bulb ramping shots, I would start with a fresh card and in between shots push the play button on my camera and select the first photo and compare it to the last photo taken to see how much of a difference I have. Then adjust my ramping speed slowly.

Also there are some rules of thumb in those manuals. Twilight time after the sun goes down will drop about 2 stops of light every ten minutes. So I will manually ramp the speed slowly up to maybe 1.5 to 2 stops once the sun goes down depending on how close I am to my desired exposure already. (Making sure you are on the "stops per 10 minutes" setting)

Hope this helped, the little bramper is really an amazing tool and we are fortunate to have gotten one before he stopped selling them!

Lance

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Sat Sep 22, 2012 6:07 am
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Post Re: Hi from San Diego
Thanks Lance. That is helpful. I have read those manuals a few times. Do you normally wait until the sun sets before you start ramping? So in other words, do you just let your scene get dark, then slowly ramp it back up once you hit twilight? Or do you start a slow ramp at some point before the sun sets? That is where I seem to get into trouble - determining the best time to start ramping...

I AM glad I got the bramper! I think I got one of the last ones.


Sat Sep 22, 2012 8:17 am
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Location: San Diego, CA
Post Re: Hi from San Diego
It depends on many different variables. For the shots in Weathering Spring, I was mainly getting the twilight light leading into the city lighting up. For that, I would usually start after the sun set because the gap in between the good sunset light and the good city light is too long and uninteresting. So I would start closer to when the city would be lighting up, then start my exposures where it looks good and start ramping close to 2 stops per 10 mins since it's right in the middle of twilight time. I'll let it get dark enough to where the city lights look nice as they come on but you don't want it to get too dark. Keep monitoring you photos/levels as you go.

But there are a couple traffic shots in there too, for those I started before sunset because I wanted to capture the drag of traffic blur as it got darker and that was a more interesting subject to stretch through the sunset - city light time.

Another good way to use it in a more subtle way is to set up for a nice sunset shot and ramp your exposures just enough to capture the good colors before they go grey. Without the bramper it usually requires starting a few stops over exposed to catch this.

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Sat Sep 22, 2012 12:38 pm
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Post Re: Hi from San Diego
Thanks for the tips. Maybe that's been my problem - that time between sunset and the lights coming up. In one shot, I cut out that section in post and just dissolved the two more interesting shots together, but that was a static shot. If you have movement, it is not so easy. I have thought of pausing my dolly during that time, backing it up a little then restarting once the light gets more interesting. I do like being able to go from full sunlight, through sunset, and into darkness.


Sat Sep 22, 2012 2:14 pm
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