First, I would like to thank all my Egyptian friends who I had the honor to meet and accompany. I would like to thank Nikon ME and Foto-Express (i am Nikon Egypt), for the trust they gave me as well and their apreciation for my talent and skills.
My Nikon trip to Egypt was so rich and unique that I will be covering a lot of its aspects in many upcoming posts.
Let me start with a promise I made and time at the workshop didn’t allow me to fulfill. It is the example time-lapse I shot from my hotel room. This time-lapse is more intended to highlight some major points we talked about in the photo walk and at the workshop.
Point 1: Planning
I am a person who wakes up very early in the morning, I happen to love Dawns. And while having my coffee a bit before dawn on the hotel balcony, I noticed the strokes of light hitting a building nearby. That building had strict geometrical lines that I actually loved. So I spent the morning sipping coffee and enjoying Dawn and sunrise and the way shadows casted on that building. Then I decided to make a time-lapse of the progressing morning light on the building. Now I know well the location of the building and the North, South, East and West. I referred to an Imsakiya I always keep in my gear bag. I use as well PhotoPills and similar smartphone applications to know the exact times of sun and moon movements. That was day one.
Point 2: Adapting with constrains
I had no tripod, so I needed to improvise a camera support. And after lots of trouble with Egyptian customs and security upon my arrival, putting the camera on the balcony for a relatively long time will sure to lead to unwanted trouble. So I decided to shoot behind the glass door. Another restriction arose; I have now to “stick” the lens against the glass to avoid any uncontrollable glass reflections. So now I am very constrained in the position of the camera. And as mentioned in the day before photo walk, having strict straight lines could not be achieved except by absolute horizontal leveling of the camera.
Point 3: Framing and deciding camera setting
I was also incited to shoot the view because of the sand/blue palette.The balcony had lovely vertical lines that could enrich the main lines of the intended subject to shoot, which is the building. I also didn’t want these lines to distract the main subject, so I set the camera and lens, to an aperture where I can have the building sharp enough and the balcony bars slightly out of focus. (Having them a lot out of focus will distract much more, a thing I do not want at all.)
I was shooting the Perspective Control,tilt and shift, Nikkor PC-E 45mm manual focus lens; I set it on f: 1/4.8 And as I told you in the workshop, (M) manual mode is the only recommended mode for good time-lapse except for other very very specific situations.
Point 4: Predicting the progress of time
Since we’re dealing with morning light, the light will increase, so I decided to start very underexposed and let the camera shoot endlessly until it starts to overexpose in a way I no longer want. Here I decided to shoot at ISO 50 and 1/500 shutter speed and regular “Daylight” white balance.
And since I have an idea of how light increases (from the day before examination) I decided that I want to do 1000 shots at the interval of 5 seconds, because I love those time-lapses that give the impression of running slow.
Point 5: Wishing good luck
Now I have my camera setup ready, and forbidden to touch the camera, I give Her a blow and just wish good luck and no unwanted surprises.
Always remember is the fun of doing it that counts most, if didn’t work out today, review your work, and analyze it, you’ll know after that when and how to shoot it again.
And don’t forget to keep it simple, once you are satisfied of a step you made, move firmly to the other.
And here is the video, make sure you watch in Full Screen and FullHD
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