Attempting Timelapse Photography

Timelapse photography is a type of photography that I have tried a little in the past but with my new obsession with night photography the same skills and techniques can be used to create a timelapse video  and has given me a renewed interest in trying timelapse photography again.

The biggest issue for me in making a timelapse video is the amount of time required in creating one. The standard frames per second on TV in the UK is 24, to have a 10 second timelapse video I would need 240 images which doesn't sound like many.

My images of the night sky like in the timelapse video at the top taken at Wells Next The Sea are 25 seconds each plus a delay meaning I am taking two pictures a minute or 2 hours for a 10 second video.

Being fairly impatient standing around for 2 hours on my own doing nothing is quite difficult. The finished timelapse is only 6 seconds due to the sea starting to come in and also the clouds bringing the timelapse to a shorter end than I would like. 

To capture the timelapse I set the camera in full manual mode attached to a tripod and tweaking the exposure and frame before setting the inverlomitor to automatically take the sequence of images and then the hard part of waiting and not touching the camera as any movement between images can ruin the final video. 

Shooting in RAW mode I processed the images as normal, Lightroom makes this easy by allowing me to edit one image and then syncing the edit to the other images before using the additional free plugin to create the timelapse video which can take awhile for the computer to render, easily an hour or more depending on the length of the timelapse. 

Follow this link for the Lightroom download and install and usage instructions

This timelapse taken in Hunstanton only took about 20 minutes to capture, the battery running out cut this one short. 

Perseids Meteor Shower

Over the last few weeks with the nights starting to get longer I am now trying to take pictures at night with the aim of photographing the night sky. On August the 12th saw the Annual Perseids Meteor Shower reach its peak. Being a Wednesday I wouldnt normally travel so far as Wells Next The Sea with being at work the next day. I eventually got home around 1.30am with my alarm set for the usual time of 6am making my purchase of Redbull energy drink essential, surprisingly I was fine till about lunchtime. 

The weather forecast kept changing throughout the week and I wasn't hopeful the sky was going to be visible to see the meteors through the clouds, I only decided to go at the last minute. Leaving early enough I had time to scout the area I intended to set up in daylight and to photograph the sunset on the same trip to make it worthwhile incase the sky was too cloudy for the meteor shower. Clouds may not be good for taking images of the night sky but I think they are essential to good sunset images as you capture different colours in the clouds. 

Can I call this a selfie?

I selected Wells because I thought the beach huts would add interest to a potential image other than the night sky which I think can be boring on its own. Also I like the fish and chips there and not having eaten anything before I left home I simply was determined to have a big tray of chips which made Wells the ideal place to go. I could have easily gone to Brancaster or Burnham Staithe further along as alternative locations.

Soon as I arrived at the beach my mind was focused on foreseeing potential images with a sunset using the beach huts as a primary point of interest. Using my Nikon D7100 and the 35mm 1.8 lens on a tripod I set the camera on self timer mode with the bracketing set to 5 images at +/- 2 stops, to later merge into a HDR image to ensure I create an image with good exposure and detail which works well with the top image.

With the self timer on the camera will automatically take 5 images in quick succession which makes HDR easy, more so with Lightroom 6.  The picture at the top of this article would be impossible with a single picture, not without loosing quality in the beach huts as they would be in silhouette as you would need to expose for the sun which is far brighter than the beach.  

Wells Next The Sea Town

After the sun had set I walked back to the high street to get my chips while the sky turns to darkness. Once I return to the beach and pointing the camera towards the town as I was advised the best place to look was north east. Using an intervalometer which arrived only a couple days prior I was all set. I was convinced the bright and frequent meteors were going across the sky everywhere but where the camera was pointing. Only once I reviewed the images the next day and altered the exposure I noticed a couple of images had captured a meteor or two.

Created from 2 images to get three meteors

On the initial image I used a torch to illuminate the beach huts, with the involomitor automatically triggering the camera every 18 seconds I just watched the show with my own eyes. Being on the beach at 11pm was very peaceful and stress free. 

The sunset alone was worth the trip out to Wells after work and watching the Perseids Meteor Shower only made it better. One of the main reasons why I love photography is because I would never have an interest in events such as the Meteor shower or exploring the countryside. 

I entered the beach huts sunset into #wexmondys on Twitter and was lucky to get second place on this weekly competition which is a good personal achievement. Been trying for months but the standard of images entered on a weekly basis is very high.

Cant wait till next year to try again !

The Four Day Holiday

I had four days of holiday entitlement to take before April, It was slightly annoying having go into work for just the one day.

Like with all my holidays I spend the time exploring the countryside looking photographic opportunities. With it still being February the nature reserves are still barren and uninteresting. 

With nature photography not being an option (Snowdrops being an exception) I focused my efforts around the North Norfolk Coastline and Norfolk Broads.

When planning my trips out I try and find a number of locations nearby, for example on Tuesday which was my first day off, the first place was Thurne Windpump, then onto Horsey which was 8 miles from Thurne and then onto East Somerton that was 2.5 miles from Horsey which in themselves won't keep me busy for a whole day. is a great website to find photo locations.

Wednesday I visited Cromer then went onto Sheringham, Thursday Kings Lynn with a couple of photographic friends. Friday Brancaster and then Brancaster Staithe. 

Since I solved my purple fringing issue when taking long exposures I wanted to focus on that type of photography. Long exposures are good with moving objects like skies and water to smooth them out and it creates a moody feel to images.

Thurne is one of the most photographed windmills in Norfolk as it is easily accessible and in good repair. Horsey Windpump which is owned and maintained by the National Trust is currently being repaired due to the recent storms damaging the sails and they are also refurbishing the facilities. This visit was to see the other mill nearby called Brograve Mill which is accessible by the footpath at Horsey where there is plenty parking available. 

East Somerton has remains of a church was I thought would be interesting to see and I was not disappointed with the brick work covered in vines and a tree growing in the middle of the structure. An added bonus was Snowdrops which I also wanted to photograph this year. 

Cromer Pier has been on my mental list for sometime now and is ideal for long exposure photography. What I wasn't expecting was the amount of repair work that is ongoing on the sea defenses and the pier itself with the beach around the pier is closed off to the public which is unfortunate as I would have liked to take an image from the beach level, maybe in a year once the works have been completed.

An old street in Kings Lynn

I lived in Sheringham for about 5 years, unfortunately my parents restaurant business closed at the start of the recession and the building appears to be still empty. This was the first time I have returned, other than the new Tesco and Sainsburys in the old Woolworths not a lot has changed. 

Despite living in Norfolk since 2000 I cannot remember exploring Kings Lynn, reading up the towns history on Wikipedia is quite interesting, used to be called Bishops Lynn. There are a few old buildings and streets about worth looking at.

I have been to Brancaster Staithe before, very photographic with the fishing industry. Brancaster beach further along is very flat and open but lacks any interest, no boats or sea defenses. It wasn't long till I moved onto Brancaster Staithe.

My next week off isn't till the 3rd for 4th week in March, more research is required to see what else is interesting to see in Norfolk and possibly Suffolk. There are a few more windpumps that require a long walk to view them. 

December Overview

December has been a relatively quiet on the photographic front due to family events and work has limited my time to go out exploring. 

Visited Norwich to see the xmas lights and then to Blakeney to see the seals, both with the camera club. It was the first time I had seen the seals, well worth the long and tiring walk along Cley beach. Walking in sand turned out to be difficult and I had underestimated on how much equipment I was carrying and really felt the unnecessary weight.

Now that Christmas is over and soon new year I can think ahead into what I want to achieve in 2015. Now I own a Zoom H1 audio recorder I can record decent audio, video blogs may soon start to appear.

Happy new year !