Unfortunately I don't have excellent records of my next series of tests. I made four bramping attempts during a family excursion to Mexico. The day after returning from Mexico I left for a two week out of state work trip and regrettably I am just now writing this almost a month later. I don't think I made any adjustments during ramping but I cannot remember.
*as mentioned in Part 1, I am chronicling my experiments with bulb ramping time lapse for my own future reference and to hopefully provide some insight to others who are getting started.
The Third Setup: Mayan Palace, Puerto Peñasco
Sunset: 7:36 pm
Civil Twilight: 8:04 pm
Nautical Twilight: 8:38 pm
Astronomical Twilight: 9:14 pm
f/5.6 | ISO 200 | ND0
Start Exposure: 1/80 | Interval: 15 sec | End Exposure: 25 sec | Ramp Duration: 37 min
Finally a decent (but not great) transition! I did much better with the timing of the ramping but balancing my slider with rocks was a bad idea. I started ramping one minute before sundown and ended ramping at 8:12, 8 minutes after Civil Twilight. I don't think I intentionally chose 8 min past Civil Twilight, but I can't remember exactly what made me end there. Getting the ending time closer to Civil Twilight really did the trick.
The Fourth Setup: Mayan Palace, Puerto Peñasco
My second setup in Mexico unfortunately didn't work at all. After getting a decent transition I decided to start the sequence earlier, which required an ND filter. That was my first time using an ND filter with the Promote Controller. I did not pay enough attention to it and missed the prompt to remove the filter and the unit timed out.
The Fifth Setup: Mayan Palace, Puerto Peñasco
Sunset: 7:35 pm
Civil Twilight: 8:03 pm
Nautical Twilight: 8:37 pm
Astronomical Twilight: 9:13 pm
f/5.6 | ISO 160 | ND4
Start Exposure: 1/250 | Interval: 15 sec | End Exposure: 40 sec | Ramp Duration: 45 min
So far I have been doing all of these tests in the exact same location at the resort. I thought the consistency would be helpful in comparing results later on. I made one small change on this setup that I didn't realize would have such an impact. Instead of letting the slider sit on the ground I put it up its tripods. This small change in composition made it so that two large flood lights were now in view of the camera below the reflection pool. It's an interesting effect to say the least you can see it in the video below.
This sequence started ramping right at sundown and ended 45 minutes later at 8:20 pm, 17 minutes past Civil Twilight. I ramped a little longer than on the previous test but I also increased the ending exposure, which I think evened it out.
In this version of the video I did reduce highlights using Camera Raw because the spotlights really blew everything out.
The Sixth Setup: Mayan Palace, Puerto Peñasco
Sunrise: 5:45 am
Civil Twilight: 5:17 am
Nautical Twilight: 4:44 am
Astronomical Twilight: 4:07 am
f/5.6 | ISO 320 | ND4
Start Exposure: 20 sec | Interval: 12 sec | End Exposure: 1/500 | Ramp Duration: 40 min
This was my first night to day transition and for some reason it has the most flickering that I have experienced so far. The ramping started at 5:02 am (15 minutes before Civil Twilight) but I think that was a little to early, either that or the clouds / landscaping lights were messing me up.
Overall I am pleased with my progress. The series of tests that I did in Mexico produced reasonable transitions. I think the next step is to pick a location in Phoenix and keep shooting it until it is perfect.
Lessons Learned So Far:
- Visit the shooting location prior to setting up the time-lapse to gather appropriate exposure information.
- Keep ramping times close to Civil Twilight (at least in the environments that I have been shooting in so far).
- If using a ND filter be sure to keep a close eye on the promote so you can remove / add the filter at the appropriate time.