Yesterday afternoon around 4 pm, the sky held a mixture of interesting clouds on a blue background. I decided to try a timelapse and set up the D800e on the deck and pointed the 16-35 lens northward. I set the built-in intervalometer for 900 exposures at five second intervals. The camera settings were manual at f/8 and 1/500. I have more timelapse gear than any normal person would, but I wanted to try just this simple setup. Let it run until dark without changing any settings.
The battery gave out around 5:15, after 870 exposures.
Using LRTimelapse 5, I downloaded the images from the card to the Mac Pro and started the procedure using LRTimelapse’s Visual Workflow tab. (It took me a long time to become comfortable using LRTimelapse, but now it seems simple. It is, IMO, the best tool for the job.) I noticed right away that the light was good for the early frames but ramped sharply downward as the sun set due to my not changing exposure as the light faded. I set some keyframes around this point on the timeline for adjusting exposure in Lightroom. Then I exported the files to Lightroom and made some adjustments. The D800e has a lot of dynamic range, and I was able to counter the downward ramp partially with an upward ramp of about four stops. I also made some other keyframe adjustments, mostly in saturation and de-haze.
The next step was to reload the keyframe metadata into LRTimelapse and let it tnterpolate the metadata for intervening frames. Then I used the visual deflicker button to even out small frame to frame changes in illumination due to small frame to frame variations in the iris diaphragm setting. (The gospel on this is to shoot with the lens wide open to eliminate these variations. But I had used f/8 [as an experiment]).
The next step was to export the new image data back to Lightroom and create the TIFF files for rendering.
I rendered the video in 1080p, 4k UHD, and 8k UHD versions. I don’t have an 8k monitor, so I can’t actually view the 8k version. Maybe i’ll put it on youtube someday for those with 8k monitors. I used the AppleProRes codec, which makes huge files but is easier on the CPU for playing and editing. I am posting the 1080p version here.
To me, it came out OK. It does get grainy at the end, where I was boosting pixels by four stops. But I can fade that somewhat in post. I think I have about 15 seconds of good video here, starting at about five seconds in.
The next thing to do is to import this into Premiere Pro for editing. I think I want to do a moderate zoom in to the big cloud that comes through at around the 10 second point. And maybe change the color a bit.
I have thought for a long time that I want to do video. Maybe it’s time to put together a timelapse (pun?) sequence. I have several good snippets of clouds and stars. Over coming months, I need to get better with Premiere Pro and After Effects.