Hey everyone, thanks for checking out my latest time-lapse project. I’ll be posting several behind the scenes photo blogs showing different aspects of this challenging production. Check back for more and I will be updating the Page Films Facebook page with photos as well.
Part 2: Bulb Ramping
Bulb ramping was something I had attempted only a couple times before this project, for those of you who aren’t familiar with this technique, it’s the process of ramping the shutter speed up or down during a shot. So for example the exposure time might start at 30ms and over the course of a couple hours during a sunset the exposures will gradually ramp up to 15 or 20 seconds allowing for a smooth transition from daylight into the night. There are a number of controllers out there that will pull this off smoothly, I was using the “Little Bramper” controller which is unfortunately not being sold as of late.
Weathering Spring has 6 bulb ramping time-lapse clips and they were definitely the most challenging shots technically especially when combined with tracking, panning and tilting.
This is the controller setup for bulb ramping, tracking, panning and tilting all during a single time-lapse. It gets a little ridiculous with adapter plugs and cords. In short, the Bramper is controlling the shutter and intervals and the MX2 is receiving a signal from the Bramper telling the motors on the track and telescope head when to move. So thats why the shutter signal coming from the Bramper is being split between the MX2 and the camera.
This is the same setup but later in the evening after the bulb ramping has finished. The camera is tracking out over the railing and slowly panning to the right. This shot took about 4 hours including setup and breakdown and it took 2 different evenings to get it right due to the difficulty of setting up the correct interval/bulb ramping/tracking/panning combo.
Here is my setup on the Burnside bridge looking north over the I5 freeway. This one was a little less difficult because it didn’t involve tracking. I was able to achieve a fantastic gradient in the sky on this one.
And here we are towards the end of the shot after the sun went down. This is a little while after the bulb ramping finished and the exposure time was at about 14 seconds.
This was the sunset shot overlooking downtown from the Ross Island bridge, the telescope head actually failed on me but luckily it was after it had tilted down enough to get a good shot out of it. I originally intended tilting down more to reveal more of the river. The Portland Spirit made a nice bright appearance in this shot.
Special thanks to David Figliulo on this one, David helped out with some of the production and snapped some nice BTS shots including this one. Check out his Flickr page here. This was one of the last shots I got, I intended on replacing another bulb ramping shot of the hawthorne bridge and SW downtown with this one but I ended up using them both which turned out to be a nice edit.
Thanks for checking out my blog post and be sure to contact me if you have any questions about bulb ramping or any other aspect of our production. Check back for more soon!