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Moonset Time Lapse #8

The story behind this video

Sometimes a time lapse video shoot will go smoothly and according to plan, and sometimes not!

Filming this video of the new moon setting over the North Wales coast proved to be the latter.

The plan was good, and things started well.

My wife Liz and I arrived in the car park on Llandudno West Shore just after sunset, a couple of days into the new moon cycle, in order to film the crescent moon setting over the Irish Sea and the acres of wet sand exposed by the very low spring tide glowing in the orange dusk light.

It was quite blustery, so I set my camera up with my 24-105mm zoom lens instead of my longer 100-400mm zoom, which is useless for time lapse in anything other than perfectly calm conditions.

As the sky was still significantly brighter than the wet sand, I also fitted a Lee 2 stop neutral density graduated filter to the front of the lens in order to balance the exposure somewhat, an action that proved useful in more ways than one!

All good so far, and I set the camera off recording exposures for the time lapse video while I finally got to drink my coffee while standing in the freshening breeze.

Having finished my coffee I then walked across the car park to put the empty cup in the bin, only to be summoned back by the frantic waving and horn sounding of my wife from inside our car.

Bemused at what the matter could be I strolled back, only to find that my camera and tripod had blown over, face planting my favourite lens into the rocky foreshore!

Which is where the filter on the front of the lens saved the day.

Taking the brunt of the impact, the filter was smashed and the filter ring attachment was bent out of shape, but the lens and camera were remarkably OK.

These Canons are made of sturdy stuff!

So I set up to repeat the shoot, with my tripod less then fully extended this time to keep it out of the wind.

But before starting timed shooting with my intervalometer I noticed my camera battery was getting low, so just to be sure of no further problems I fitted a spare, fully charged battery and then set the camera off.

After just seventy five frames (less than three seconds' worth of video) my fully charged battery had gone flat - it was a duff - and the sequence was stopped yet again!

Ho hum - this wasn't going at all to plan, and was turning into quite an expensive shoot, what with smashed filter, filter ring and now a scrap battery.

But the moonset was still going on and the scene was looking even lovelier than when we started as the sky grew darker, with the planets Venus and Mercury now accompanying the moon on its downwards trajectory.

So it was out with the duff battery in with yet another fully charged unit. (I always bring six batteries with me, just in case!)

It was third time lucky, and everthing kept working and didn't blow over until the last vestiges of daylight had fled the sky and the moon had set behind some low cloud that was blowing across the horizon.

In the end, there were enough exposures from the first try, before the camera blew over, and from the last try, using a decent battery, to make a reasonable length video which, despite the trials and tribulations, turned out rather nicely!

License this video

Video data

Filename - moonset timelapse 08.mp4

Camera - Canon 6D

Lens (1st sequence) - 24-105mm zoom @ 45mm
Lens (2nd sequence) - 24-105mm zoom @ 60mm

Exposure (start of sequence) - 1/15 sec @ f4, ISO100
Exposure (end of sequence) - 4 secs @ f4, ISO400

Filters - Two stop neutral density graduated filter used to darken the sky. (1st sequence only).

Shooting interval - 6 seconds

Location - Llandudno West Shore, North Wales coast

This clip - HD 720p 30fps

Clip duration - 18 secs