Time Lapse – 1st Attempt

I was bored one day an decided to hack my 60D by loading it up with Magic Lantern. It’s basically a layer of software that goes on top of Canon’s OS which unleashes the camera’s true potential. Amongst many many other features, the ability to set the camera to automatically shoot at specified intervals (an intervalometer) was what I wanted most from Magic Lantern. I decided to give it a test today and the ensuing video is what I got. Mind you, this was a very preliminary test. I really just wanted to get a feel for how an intervalometer works. The shot is a view from my front “yard”, the first picture taken at 7:38 pm and the final picture at 9:33 pm at 16 second intervals. This produced 431 individual photos at a reduced resolution of 1920×1280 (S2). The camera was set to Aperture Priority (Av) mode and the ISO was set to Auto. Leaving the ISO on Auto was probably my biggest mistake. You’ll see toward the end of the time lapse some drastic flickering as every so often an extremely underexposed image was taken. I threw the pictures into Aperture and viewed the photos metadata in a spreadsheet view. About halfway through the time lapse the ISO reached 3200 which is the highest setting the camera will go to when set to Auto. The camera then had to take longer exposures to make up for it but apparently had a difficult time metering. The culprit could have been the Moon. It creeps up near the bottom right of the frame around the middle of the time lapse and peeks in and out of the shot through the branches of the trees. I didn’t consider this when I framed my shot. But that’s why this was a trial. Tomorrow I will shoot another two hour time lapse (I left the tripod out side in the exact same position) but will either A) change the ISO to a fixed value (maybe 800 or so, I can deal with long shutter speeds so long as they don’t exceed 16 seconds. However that will drain my battery more. Today’s two hour time lapse used about 30 percent of my battery) or B) turn on the Bulb Ramping feature. I don’t know much about it, but Bulb Ramping is supposed to create a smooth transition from day to night when shooting a sunset for example. Once I can create a nice time lapse at my light polluted apartment complex, I’ll move on to prettier scenery where the stars will show much better. Until then, enjoy this humble time lapse. If you watch it at full resolution you can see stars in the sky during the last half (even more were visible before I uploaded it and YouTube compressed it…)

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