Shooting a time-lapse is a little tricky to begin with, but things get even more complicated when you shoot one from day to night.
The major hurdle you have to jump through when shooting from day to night (or vice versa) is adjusting your camera settings according to the light change as the sun dips below the horizon. Here to show you how to prepare for, shoot, and edit this type of challenging time-lapse is Cal Thomson. Check out his helpful tutorial below:
Here are the tools Cal used in his tutorial:
- Canon 6D
- Tamron 24-70mm 2.8 IS
- Manfrotto 501HD Tripod
- Adobe Lightroom
- LR Timelapse
The tutorial is pretty straightforward, but here are a few things to keep in mind as you get ready to shoot a day to night time-lapse:
Get the right gear
This can really go without saying, but shooting a time-lapse without the right gear is just -- silly. Get a sturdy tripod and head. Get an intervalometer. Nobody wants to babysit, count intervals, or risk shaking your camera by hitting the record button. (Because you will shake your camera by hitting record, and it'll mess up your shot big time.)
Give yourself enough time to make adjustments
Most time-lapses allow you to more or less set it and forget it, but if you're shooting day to night means you have to account for the light change -- meaning you have to change your exposure. Set your intervalometer to where it gives you enough time to make any adjustments that you need to, but don't make the interval so long that you miss too much of the action. Cal sets his at 10 seconds.
Head into post to smooth out the jumps in exposure
As Cal mentions in the tutorial, as your exposure changes, you'll see little "jumps" in the image. To make your time-lapse look a cleaner, more sophisticated look free of those jumps, open whichever post program you use (Cal uses Lightroom) and adjust the settings to match the exposure of all of your images. Cal manages to avoid having to editing over 800 images individually by utilizing a plugin called LR Timelapse. Using the metadata from its "Holy Grail" workflow, you're able to go into Lightroom and see which images need adjustments, rather than having to guess or, god forbid, smoothing out transitions on every single one of your images.
Do you have any tips or tricks on how to shoot a day to night time-lapse? Let us know in the comments below!