Tripping (over) the Clouds Fantastic

Sometimes you are given lemons. Luckily I love lemonade and tend to make a lot of it.

This was a night comprised of a large basket of lemons. It was supposed to be a clear night and a full moon, so I set off to shoot a time-lapse at my favorite lighthouse. As you may notice from the image, it was anything but clear. However, clouds are great in time-lapse.

Time-lapse can be a challenge to shoot, especially at night when various transient elements can blow your exposure out of the water and ultimately mess up the works. 23 minutes into the shoot, the exposure got wrecked because a floodlight was turned on. This caused the lighthouse to be ghastly looking for the duration of the shoot – another 40 minutes. This meant that the 40 minutes of images were rendered unfixable and junk. I got a decent time-lapse, albeit very short, with the earlier 23 minutes of shooting.

For those of you wondering, yes I noticed the floodlight came on. No, I didn’t mess with the exposure setting, I don’t touch my camera when shooting a time-lapse sequence unless it’s with an app. The smallest introduced movement will gum up the works, so I just let run and hoped I could recover the mess. No, I didn’t have the app going either.

This image is comprised of the “good” 23 minutes. 188 shots. The subsequent effect is cloud stacks and star trails. It wasn’t the result I was looking to achieve but the beauty of time-lapse is that it has multiple functions. You can pull out an individual frame, stack the images as well as create a video. Stacked night images render star trails. Stacked cloud images render cloud stacks. Stacked images with a moonrise also create a moon streak (look real close at the bottom third of the image). With the full basket of lemons, I got them all.

Cloud Stacks
Cloud Stacks

I did assemble the time-lapse as well, squeezing as much as I could from the decent frames I had.

Sometimes a shoot becomes more than what you set out to capture. Embrace the lemons.

How do you handle changed shooting conditions when shooting time-lapses? Do you stop and restart? Let’s hear it in the comments or drop me a line. I’d love to hear about it.

#art #photographer #photo #experience #gear #passion #inspiration #timelapse #photography #lighthouse #nightsky #challenges #Nikon

To learn about upcoming workshops and tips on photography, consider subscribing to my website.

Taking photos and want to make them more compelling?

Art isn’t just for walls. Art is also to hold in one’s hands.

Want to explore New England through a camera lens?

© Silvana Della Camera

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply