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Crete Sunset Timelapse #1

The story behind this video

During the first week of our holiday on Crete my wife Liz and I basked in the heat under cloudless blue skies.

Great for the tan, but no good at all if you want to shoot time lapse with interesting skies!

Coupled with a distinct lack of tide compared with what I'm used to on the North Wales coast and things weren't looking so good for the time lapse videos I was hoping to capture here.

So I was left with two options for making time lapse videos, the stars and the sunset.

With the sun setting to the west around equinox I was hard pressed to find a coastal view with a west facing aspect which included some interesting features against which to place the sunset.

A good study of the map provided inspiration in the form of the beach at Matala, a west facing bay on the south coast of Crete, with a couple of islands called Paximadia out to sea in the direction of the sunset.

So after a day spent driving around looking at the beautiful scenery in central Crete we wound up at Matala, quite a happening place complete with hippy caves, groovy man!

But I wasn't interested so much in caves, but in what was developing into a gorgeous sunset, with the sun aiming to just kiss the side of the larger of the two islands on its way down to the horizon.

So as the rest of the tourists pointed their mobiles westwards I got out the big guns and shot this time lapse sequence of the sunset using my 100-400mm zoom lens, taking advantage of the calm conditions so the lens didn't twitch around while shooting, which it will in any sort of breeze.

After the sunset I packed everything away in anticipation of the long drive back to the north of Crete where we were staying (Crete is a bigger island than I imagined) and was walking back to the car when we were arrested in out tracks by an incredible display of twilight colours developing over the sea.

I wasn't expecting that, so it was back out with the camera, tripod and wide angled lens this time, to shoot more time lapse of the sky and sea as the colours of twilight played out overhead.

Needless to say, we got back to our resort a lot later than planned, but well worth the effort to enjoy and film such a beautiful display.

Enthused by what we'd seen at Matala, we made an effort to view the sunset from as many different locations as possible as the holiday progressed, and we were never disappointed with the displays of twilight light and colour that we enjoyed on the island of Crete.

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Sequence #1
Sequence #2

Video data

Filename - crete sunset timelapse 01.mp4

Camera - Canon EOS 6D

Lens (1st sequence) - 100-400mm zoom @ 180mm
Lens (2nd sequence) - 17-40mm zoom @ 17mm

Exposure (start of sequence) - 1/4000 sec @ f5, ISO100
Exposure (end of sequence) - 1 sec @ f4, ISO100

Filters (1st sequence) - None.
Filters (2nd sequence) - 3 stop neutral density graduated filter used to darken the sky.

Shooting interval - 15 seconds

Location - Near Kera, Crete

This clip - HD 720p, 30fps

Clip duration - 16 seconds