Friday, May 23, 2014

GBTimelapse and Meteor Showers

This past week Thomas O'Brien posted a time-lapse video 7 years in the making to Vimeo. That's right, 7 years! O'Brien's focus is shooting photos and video of meteor showers and for the past 7 years has been collecting footage that he has compelled into a beautiful 2-minute reel. He sent us a special message to tell us he used GBS software extensively throughout the process.

Various meteor atmospheric entries captures in a single frame reposted from O'Brien's blog.
O'Brien's recent post on his blog, highlights the video and focuses on 10 tips on photograhing meteor showers.

This coming Memorial Day weekend should be a great opportunity to try out these tips and your time-lapse gear. As O'Brien wrote to us,
"The Earth is about to pass through a brand new debris field from a comet that came through this area of space back in the 1800's. We will be moving through the area on the 24th of May and it could be a great meteor shower."
Head over to O'Brien's post at to find out more.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

GBTimelapse, TB3, and a Mast for a Holy Grail

We waited through the weather for an opportunity to get a good day-to-night Holy Grail with sky and reflection, and it paid off. We used GBTimelapse to control an inaccessible eMotimo TB3 for pan/tilt and aperture-pull mounted atop a Willburt mast. Although the TB3 was out of reach, GBT can setup the start and end points and control the motion. 

The video breaks down a lot of the details of the shot and the process. It was shot in JPEG with no post processing other than a crop to 16x9. GBTimelapse adjusted the exposure automatically and pulled aperture from f/22 to f/2.8 as the sun set. The time-lapse interval was ramped from 10 to 36 seconds and the color temperature was ramped from 5000°K to 4000°K. We had to change the tilt end point while the time-lapse was running to get a better shot of the night sky.

Make sure to watch the video in HD so you can see the star detail and look for the wild turkeys across the pond about 18 seconds in.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

GBTImelapse Aperture Pull

A few nights ago we took brought out the equipment and took advantage of a great night sky. Using GBTimelapse and an eMotimo TB3 we shot an automatic aperture pull/ramp for a seamless day-to-night shot. In the video posted below you can see the eMotimo TB3 tied to the camera and the video produced, flicker-free from daylight hours into deep night.

The aperture is listed on screen to see the process in action. If you would like to read more about the technical details look back at these posts: Eliminate Flicker and GBTimelapse/eMotimo Aperture Ramping.

Stick around after the video to see an explanation of the aperture pull/ramp.

The figure above shows how the aperture was smoothly ramped from f/22 when the sun was 4° above the horizon to f/2.8 when the sun was 5° below the horizon during twilight. You can specify the start and stop points as well as the curve to follow, (linear, logarithmic, or cosine as shown here). I like to use the cosine curve because the gradual change at low f-numbers makes lens vignetting changes less noticeable.