Landscape Timelapse – Tetons

I just returned from the Jackson Hole Wildlife Fillm Festival. This bi-annual festival is probably the most significant gathering of wildlife and conservation filmmakers anywhere. Though I had very little time to enjoy the films featured at the festival, I did connect with a lot of old and new friends. Probably the most inspiring part of the festival was seeing how many filmmakers were concerned about environmental issues and how to reach audiences with these messages.

Between meetings and session, I spent some time playing with my Sony EX1 which I had fortunately brought with me. Given the incredible fall landscape opportunities that the Tetons present, I couldn’t resist setting up some fun time-lapse shots. With my tripod sitting in my closet back at the office, I had to make due with a backpack and some padding as my camera base. Unfortunately with the wind blowing, it was all but impossible to get rock solid shots with this set up. That said, I did manage to get some quality results.

After a few rounds of experimenting, I found some settings that I felt really worked. Among the takeaways were:

  • Very slow shutter works best to smooth motion
  • Fixed aperture slightly under-exposed works to offset any over-exposure risk as sun moves in and out of clouds
  • Less frames and more frequent record intervals creates smooth motion
  • Don’t use “-3 Gain” as it clips highlights
  • I nice picture profile with optimized gamma curve requires minimal post
  • More clouds and wind create more dynamic sequence
  • If it’s even remotely possible someone could walk into your frame, they WILL!
  • Next time remember the tripod 🙁


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