With clear skies and calm conditions forecast for an early morning near midsummer 2018, there was no way I was going to miss an opportunity to do a long lens time lapse of the sun rising out of the Irish Sea off the North Wales coast.
So with sunrise at 4.45am it was a 3am alarm call for me so I could be on station at my favourite spot, the North Shore at Llandudno.
This is a great spot for a midsummer sunrise, with easy parking near where you want to be shooting down on the beach, and some nice firm concrete to anchor your tripod down onto.
As I wanted to capture the sun as large as possible I used my 100-400mm zoom lens, zoomed right out to 400mm.
This is why I chose this particular morning for my shoot, as the calm conditions were what was need to prevent the camera suffering from breeze induced twitching slighty in-between frames, leading to a somewhat unsteady time lapse.
Once everything was set up ready to go, a quick check on my Photograher's Ephemeris app to verify the time and direction of the sunrise resulted in a slight adjustment of the framing and then it was game on.
I knew from experience (bad) that I couldn't touch the camera once it had started taking frames, controlled from an attached intervalometer, as any attemt to alter the exposure during the sequence would be seen as camera movement in the final video.
So with around twenty minutes of filming time planned, the time it takes the sun to traverse my viewfinder, I had to select a shutter speed that would cope with both extremes of darkness and light at either end of the shoot.
This is another reason I always capture RAW files, as the ability to lighten deep shadows and recover blown highlights from RAW files in Adobe Lightroom is just phenomenal, a fact I took full advantage of for this project.
So I enjoyed watching a lovely sunrise by the seaside as my camera clicked away and the sun rose higher and brighter in the sky.
Once I'd finished this particular sequence, thanks to my early start, I even had enough time to shoot another time lapse, but this time of the crescent moon.
A much less challenging task, exposure wise, as the moon's brightness stays pretty constant over twenty minutes.
Filename - llandudno sunrise timelapse 01.mp4
Camera - Canon EOS 6D
Lens - 100-400mm zoom @ 400mm
Exposure (start of shoot) - 1/250 sec @ f5.6, ISO100
Exposure (end of shoot) - 1/250 sec @ f5.6, ISO100
Filters - None.
Shooting interval - 2 seconds
Location - Llandudno, North Wales
This clip - HD 720p, 30fps (4k & 1080p versions available)
Clip duration - 24 seconds
All content copyright © Howard Litherland 2009-2019 unless otherwise stated.