Time lapse footage Old Bills

Old Bills vantage point
Old Bills vantage point

Old Bill’s Fun Run Timelapse

Some of my Old Bill’s Fun Run time lapse footage was used in the 2014 1% For the Tetons Video Blitz Film Festival. Check out the film here:

Any part with the race, banner or runners were my shots. There were taken with a Nikon D800, Nikon D300s, and a Sony RX-100 to create the footage for part of this film.

Time Lapse Shooting Tips

Nikon 85mm f/1.4 aperture
Nikon 85mm f/1.4 aperture

I used Nikon  lenses with aperture rings to take all of the shot sequences to avoid flicker. When building up a time lapse video, flicker is the bane of time lapse shooters. It’s caused by subtle variations in the aperture setting when the camera takes pictures. You’ll never notice these in normal shooting but if you lay the shots down in a video sequence, the effect is distracting and ruins the video.

There are software tools to “de-flicker” or deflicker the video sequence. That’s all fine but it’s another step. All of Nikon’s new lenses are G series without aperture rings. I rarely use them but for time lapse. But when you need it, there’s nothing better. The only way to directly avoid this problem is to leave the G lens wide open or stop it all the way down. Both of these options aren’t as ideal.

Canon lenses and cameras used for time lapse shooting suffer from the same problem. If you are lucky enough to own a lens with an aperture ring and are thinking about selling it, consider that if you’re ever going to shoot time lapse, you’re selling off a superior tool.

Product photograph – wine

Wine bottle
Wine bottle

Photographing products is one of my specialities. I take great care in making sure the image looks exactly like the client wants it. Today’s case in point – a bottle of wine out of a case.

If you click on the image, you’ll see a higher resolution sample of the work. This bottle had quite a few wear marks on the label as well as dings in the actual glass. It added to the post-processing time but the final result is well worth the effort.

The actual photography of the bottle didn’t take too long. But the bottom label gave me some trouble because it has gold foil. As soon as I lit the bottom label for the gold foil, it ruined the dark color of the black, making it an ugly hazy gray. That required some extra work that I would have prefered to avoid doing, but doing all the usual tricks to lighten up the gold foil ended up making other problems worse. So, a little magic and voila.

Original image
Original image

As you can see in the picture on the left, the original, there is quite a bit of damage on the label and some in the bottle. That caused some extra trouble, too. The bottle was very dirty and the cleaning process left the edges of the label shredded. The holding stand is of course visible and the left side of the image isn’t perfectly white.

As I was able to make the background around the bottle 255 white, I didn’t have to do any time-consuming (and sometimes miserable) post-processing select, trimming, pen tool, or other work. It’s just such a joy to get the area around the product white enough that I don’t have to do anything more with it. So often, masking the product out of the background vaporizes more time than anything else. So if I can get it white, I do it.

The super clamp came in handy to hold the wine bottle on the light stand, as I didn’t have my regular platform. This worked out okay, though it was a little precarious. Nothing bad happened in the end.

Now it is time to open that wine.