Friday, September 28, 2012

Spinning Wheels Got To Go 'Round: First Attempt at Time Lapse Photography

The other night on my way home from a crab feast I passed a carnival being held in an old department store parking lot.  I had my camera with me so I made a quick U-Turn and hopped out to take a few pictures.  It must have been the combination of it being the first night the carnival was open and the chilly air because no one was there.  I was able to get right up to the ferris wheel and take the picture above. 

I tried to take a few more photos with longer exposures and even propped myself up on a cement wall, but sure enough they all came out too blurry.  On my little LCD screen they looked good, but as soon as I got home and opened them up I saw how bad they were indeed. And I was only keeping my shutter open for a second! 

I dug through my house trying to find an old tripod since my own has failed me before and thank heavens I found one! So I kissed the hubs and told him I'd be back in a bit, hopped in the car, and drove back over to the carnival.

What do you know - it was PACKED!!!  Way too may people running around to take my tripod and camera right back up to the ferris wheel.  Instead I snapped away from a few spots in the parking lot.

Here's a few of the better pictures.

I definitely need to upgrade in a better tripod setup because I noticed when I flipped my camera setup around to take portrait pictures I had to actually hold my camera lens because it started to slipped as the shutter was open.  It was weird, but it's something I need to look into more if I'm going to do this in the future.

I kept my shutter open for all of eight seconds on the one above. It's probably my favorite from the night.  I set my shutter speed and then engaged the self-timer on my camera to go off with a four second delay.  That gave me time to focus, hit the shutter button, take my hands off the camera, and then let the camera recover from any potential shaking prior to taking the picture.  

I love how the ferris wheel looks completely different depending on how long the shutter was open.

I wish I was decent at photoshop and could figure out how to get rid of those cars! I think this would look amazing with an empty parking lot in the foreground.  The grey car in the front right nearly ran me over soon after this picture was taken and that was when I took it as my cue to go home.

Any time lapse photography tips?  Tripod recommendations?

This is my first time trying it and I'm fairly pleased with the results, but I know I have a long way to go before I consider printing anything.  Although, I might actually print one of these pictures just to have a reference in the coming years on what my first attempt at time lapse photography looked like.

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