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Sunrise and sunset time lapse - How to get it right


First of all you need to find the perfect location.

Google "sunset in..." or "sunrise in..." your shooting location.  The Sun Surveyor app is a great little app to know exactly where the Sun and/or Moon will set or rise in augmented reality in your location - http://www.sunsurveyor.com/ (free).  Another one to check out is the ever so popular http://www.photopills.com/ for Moon, Sun and Milky Way with time lapse parametres available for Apple and now Android (£10/$10). Photographer’s Ephemeris 3D looks like a very good new 3D version of the app, although currently only available on the iPhone, let's you see how the sun light forms over landscapes in 3D without having to be there ($20).  The Magic Lantern Firmware provides automatic bulb ramping.

Next you need to find the best or most convienient way to shoot the time lapse.

The following are different techniques used to achieve sunrise sunset (or Vice versa) time lapses with the varying levels of exposure. 

1. Aperture Priority (AV setting)

This does cause flickering but you can use the Lens Twist method by Dustin Farrell

Or you can de-flicker in post-production with eg. GenArts


2. Bulb Ramping (internal or external software to increase or decrease shutter speed to compensate for changes in light).  Most are manual bulb ramping devices so you will have to know what exposure is required at specific times and when the light is going to change ie. what time the sunrises or sets.

1. Magic Lantern (FREE, but only compatible with Canon DSLRs) - for bulb ramping mode setup click here

2. GB Time Lapse (£60)

3. TriggerTrap (£25)

4. Promo Systems Controller (£200)

5. Timelapse+ (£150)

6. Pulse (£70)

7. https://www.foolography.com/ - (£180)

8. Miops - (£99)


3. Blending (a.k.a. cheating:)

Shoot two time lapses and then blend in post-production with a transition like a cross dissolve.


This is a cut down version of Preston Kanaks blog - click here to view

click here for a £60 discount off our 2 Axis Camera Sliders with Shoot-Move-Shoot mode, perfect for night time lapse tracking shots

Digislider Team
Digislider Team


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