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Oak Creek Canyon Time Lapse
Lens: DFA 15-30/f2.8 Camera: K1 Photo Location: Oak Creek Canyon Vista ISO: 200 Shutter Speed: Above 6s Aperture: F8 
Posted By: interested_observer, 12-08-2019, 10:58 PM

I don't know if this is allowed here - but, I go with it. This is a time lapse "movie" taken over a half an hour.

A friend and myself wanted to go out shooting. Actually we wanted to try to catch the last of the Milky Way, but things happened and we wound up having time for this road trip later than expected. So, drove up to the viewpoint at the top of Oak Creek Canyon (2.5 hours one way), just north of Sedona and right on the edge of the Mogollon Rim. We hiked in (since the viewpoint closes at dusk) and setup to do some night shooting. We had high clouds with a full moon (again not what we wanted, but we can make it work), capturing some star trails were going to be difficult, so we decided to do some time lapses.

I used my K1, with the 15-30/f2.8 lens - shooting about 60 - 30 second frames shot continuously, ISO 200 @ f4 over a half an hour. I should have probably shot this at ISO 100 and it would have been a bit darker for a night shot. The moon was rising behind us, so you can see the shadows of the canyon receding - while the cars driving up and down highway 89A were coming through the canyon and then scaling the switchbacks of the canyon walls up to the top. You can see the stars move with the clouds blowing through. It was actually much brighter with the full moon that what we wanted, but we probably need to try this again with about a 10% moon to get an overall better night look and feel. At the viewpoint location, it's about an 800 foot drop down to the floor of the canyon where Oak Creek runs down through Sedona and into the Verde River.

I processed everything in LightRoom then exported everything out to the free version of LR Timelapse to render the video. Then used SendVid for hosting. I slowed it down because the standard speed rendering was just too fast.

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12-09-2019, 08:00 AM   #2
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That's neat! Lots of activity along the road, thanks for sharing
12-09-2019, 10:13 AM   #3
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Awesome! I really like it, thank you for sharing.
12-09-2019, 11:17 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by interested_observer Quote
I should have probably shot this at ISO 100 and it would have been a bit darker for a night shot.
This is pretty neat, but what about reducing the exposure time to 15 seconds (at the same ISO) and taking twice as many shots? The K-1 is pretty well free of noise up to ISO 1600, but there must be a balance point between getting nice long light trails and a smoother video effect.

12-09-2019, 02:57 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by RGlasel Quote
This is pretty neat, but what about reducing the exposure time to 15 seconds (at the same ISO) and taking twice as many shots? The K-1 is pretty well free of noise up to ISO 1600, but there must be a balance point between getting nice long light trails and a smoother video effect.
Excellent suggestion! Originally, we were gonna try to capture some star trails, of which another location would have been better suited, but with the cloud cover (which just got thicker the more north we drove), we just punted and drove directly to this location. A year ago, I shot this getting the Milky Way and sort of a second idea was trying to combine the light trails, but stitching shots together isn't really conductive to nice flowing light trails. My friend was interested in trying to capture what star trails we could get, along with the car light trails across the canyon walls.

The primary idea was just to stack everything together and get some nice looooong light trails streaming along the entire length of canyon road. However, the stacking results were pretty much like daylight (essentially shot during a full moon). So, while I was processing the take - I just tried out a time-lapse since I had more than enough material to work with. Pretty much being dealt lemons, make some lemonade. A year ago when I shot (during a new moon), I was able to capture some really nice light glows in the canyon, however with the full moon there was waaaay toooo much light to get any of that. There are time where you just take what you can get and do the best with it, and learn for the next opportunity.

I really need to go back and bring down the exposure levels and try stacking them again. I uploaded the entire stack, with bringing down the exposure levels, the problem is for this, there is just too much light.


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Last edited by interested_observer; 12-09-2019 at 03:15 PM.
01-07-2020, 03:10 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by interested_observer Quote
Excellent suggestion! Originally, we were gonna try to capture some star trails, of which another location would have been better suited, but with the cloud cover (which just got thicker the more north we drove), we just punted and drove directly to this location. A year ago, I shot this getting the Milky Way and sort of a second idea was trying to combine the light trails, but stitching shots together isn't really conductive to nice flowing light trails. My friend was interested in trying to capture what star trails we could get, along with the car light trails across the canyon walls.

The primary idea was just to stack everything together and get some nice looooong light trails streaming along the entire length of canyon road. However, the stacking results were pretty much like daylight (essentially shot during a full moon). So, while I was processing the take - I just tried out a time-lapse since I had more than enough material to work with. Pretty much being dealt lemons, make some lemonade. A year ago when I shot (during a new moon), I was able to capture some really nice light glows in the canyon, however with the full moon there was waaaay toooo much light to get any of that. There are time where you just take what you can get and do the best with it, and learn for the next opportunity.

I really need to go back and bring down the exposure levels and try stacking them again. I uploaded the entire stack, with bringing down the exposure levels, the problem is for this, there is just too much light.


I love what you've done here.
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