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Canon 7D, Panasonic HVX200, Sunset, Time Lapse

Oklahoma Sunset

12.20.09 | Comment?

My fetish over the past few months has definitely been time lapse photography. I always wanted to shoot some, but I never really had the means. Last summer, I set up my crap camera (the high speed Casio Ex-Fh20, which specializes in slow motion not HD video) and shot 30 minute sunsets to speed up later.

They turned out pretty lousy based on it’s “HD quality” (which claims 720p, but it’s more like SD 480i). Needless to say, I needed a good camera to really capture these sunsets for real.

Then in August, I got a new job and with that came a new camera: the Panasonic HVX200. This beauty shoots 1080i and 720p to full satisfaction. It also has a built-in intervalometer making time lapses a ridiculous walk in the park. I typically set my time lapses to one picture every 2 seconds, because you can always speed things up, but you can’t slow things down.

So, I shot some time lapses – car drives, stadiums filling up, clouds, sunsets, etc. It has been a blast but also very tiresome. For the clouds, I sat in a field for three hours and got 30 seconds of video. But it was totally worth it. And I cannot wait to shoot some time lapses with the 7D (as soon as my intervalometer gets in).

In my time lapses, my biggest problem has been figuring out the ND filter and exposure settings as the sun goes down. I’ve tried auto-iris, but it does not seem to adjust as it gets darker, regardless of where the lens is pointed. I’m kind of at a loss as what to do.

For the following time lapse, I started really tight on the oil rig to try to catch the sun going down behind it. My exposure was all out of whack and not grabbing the good colors in the sky, so I pulled it out and adjusted some things and got this:

Really short, but really sweet. Now, as I move forward, what do I do about my iris and the ND filter as the sun sets? Is there anything I can do? Or just wait until later and start when the colors are starting to get really beautiful.

There is truly nothing like an Oklahoma sunset, and I was lucky enough to capture one of the prettiest I’ve seen in a while. Oklahoma is beautiful, and I’ll fight anyone who tries to convince me otherwise.

Here’s some clouds:

Boone Pickens Stadium (Oklahoma State):

And another beautiful sunset (another I caught at the end):

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