Yesterday I managed to break away from the Memorial Day weekend duties for a couple hours. I grabbed my camera gear made a much needed escape to the old Sacramento Area along the river. I noticed earlier in the day, we had very nice, picturesque, high altitude clouds. I thought they would make for spectacular colors during magic hour. Alas, by the time I got to the river banks and found a good spot, they had all dispersed. Never-the-less I captured the lights from the Delta King to the Tower bridge. I had been meaning to capture this view for a while now. These shots and time lapses will eventually go into a subject compilation for the city Sacramento and surrounding areas.
This time I broke habit and put the 5D Mark III on time lapse duty and used the 7D for panoramic and still shots. There were three reasons for this:
- I could use my Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 lens on the 5D to give me the ultra wide angle coverage I wanted for the time lapse which the 24-105mm f/4 L did not provide.
- I could use my 17-55mm f/2.8 lens (only fits the 7D) to capture my Panoramic shots. This lens is still the best lens in my kit. Better than the 24-105mm f/4 L in all respects except build.
- I was trying a slightly different approach to my time lapse settings which would benefit more from the 5D’s wider range of usable high ISO noise suppression. I shot in Shutter Priority (typically a No-No for time lapse) however with a twist. I set ISO to auto and used Max-ISO. I wanted to use a fixed shutter speed to ensure a consistent water motion and texture capture. This worked out quite well. I will shoot a few more time lapses to fine tune this technique.
Here is a quick shot I took of the view after setting off the 5D for time lapse and before getting the 7D ready for stills.
I like the Panorama feature on my LG Optimus G phone which allows me to take a quick rough panoramic shot and edit it to determine if that location has the composition I am looking for. One of many tools I use to increase the rate of success of my shots. Below is my test pan shot from the 7D’s position.
And now for the final panoramic shot at magic hour. The lights didn’t quite come on as/when expected but then again nothing ever is as expected. I stitched this shot manually – like most of my panoramic shots, I find it’s just a better way to do it. It gives me much more control of my output. It’s worth the extra 15-30 minutes to get it right. The final shot is about 15,000 pixels and was down sampled here to about 3,400 pixels for sanity’s sake :-). The 17-55mm f/2.8 lens’ ultra sharp optics and the 7D’s high pixel density was able to resolve and render pictures hanging on the walls inside the Delta King’s dining room. This was at a focal length of 35mm! This is the reason I will be keeping and using the 7D for years to come – with the right lens, it has some serious resolving power.
Click the image for the larger version.
I will publish the final time lapse composition in another post.
Thanks for stopping by and sharing.