Yesterday morning I drove to Belmar NJ for a sunrise shoot! The beach in Belmar has a scenic fishing pier overlooking the ocean that is an easy access point for photographers. I recently bough a DJI Mavic Air drone so I wanted to try it out there as well as take in the sunrise from the beach.
I got there about 40 minutes before sunrise and set up my tripod for shooting. I was not planning on flying my drone in the dark or over the water so I focused on my timelapse. I was a little afraid of the sand and water for my first ever drone flight!
I took a little bit to find a composition since I wanted the fishing pier in the shot with the sun rise. I ended up having the fishing pier on the left with the sun rising on the right. There were other angles but were more direct from the left side and I like to have an element that is still and not too distracting.
My first shot with my Nikon D7100, 28 mm f/2.8 lens was at ISO 800, 2 seconds, f/6.3. I set my interval to 4 seconds since a faster interval usually gives better flickering and smooth transitions during a sunrise which changes light quickly. The clouds were rolling in quickly (it was supposed to rain later in the day). The clouds had great colors with pink and purples. The 2 second interval was perfect for the water so that some waves are visible!
As the sun came up with the clouds over the water the colors and glow were amazing! I shot close to 950 photos over 1 hour with my last photo at ISO 100, f/22, and 1/15th second shutter speed.
After the shoot, I walked up to the board walk and found a good place to fly my DJI Mavic Drone. I wanted to just try a shot with the cameras intervalometer at 5 seconds RAW files. I am honestly not too comfortable with the drone controllers yet so I didn’t fly above the water and kept it close by for the timelapse. The DJI Mavic Air has a 12 MP camera which allows for a 4k timelapse at 3840 x 2160. The RAW files with a 5 second intervalometer allow for color correction in post just as if I were doing it with a DSLR. So perfect for a timelapse!
I got up at 60 feet in the air and 200 feet away overlooking the pier and ocean. I started the camera intervalometer and let it shoot for close to 120 photos about to 35% battery life. I could have gone longer but didn’t want to risk it! I shot the photos in manual with ISO 100, 1/1000th second. There was a guy walking his dog which provided some nice perspective of the view and size!
The video turned out pretty nice, I still need to figure out how to rotate the camera and movement better with stabilization (tripod mode) for the shots! I’ll get better at this but not too bad for the first try!
Thanks for reading! Let me know if you have any questions.
Yesterday morning I drove to Weehawken, NJ for a NJSpots Instagram meetup! The meetup was at 6am in the morning from Hamilton Park which is one of my favorite and most accessible views of New York City. Especially early in the morning you can drive and park right in front of the skyline view!
The weather was great, there were a few clouds rolling in and temperatures weren’t too cold! I set up my tripod and Nikon D7100. I used my 55-300 lens at 62 mm. I used an interval of 7 seconds since I was planning to stay through the sun rising above the skyline.
I took my first shot at 6:04 AM with a f/6.3, ISO 400, and 2 second shutter speed. I was purposefully trying to underexpose the image a little bit since I’ve been to this location before and Times Square lights up like a blinking Christmas tree in a timelapse which can be annoying unless that’s what you’re going for!
As the light changed, I ramped my ISO down to 100 and aperture to f/22 during the sequence. Those were my priorities compared to shutter speed since it was not very windy.
The sky absolutely lit up right before sunrise with some cotton candy colored skies and a nice orange hue!
The clouds were also moving really nice across the skyline which provided some great timelapse footage!
My last shot at 8:25 was ISO 100, f/20, and a 1/250th shutter speed. I waited until the sun started going above the image frame for the video.
In the end the video turned out perfect! It’s always worth getting up early for sunrise, especially with such a great community such as NJSpots!
Yesterday afternoon I drove to Paterson NJ to see the Great Falls frozen. The waterfalls were amazing! I bundled up in layers and had plenty of handwarmers!
I did have a tough time trying to find a composition with my 28 mm lens since the viewpoint I was hoping for happened to be closed for construction. I settled on a vertical composition to salvage a shot since I had been standing in the cold!
I used a 1 second interval with a 0.6 second shutter speed. My camera was able to write the RAW files fast enough for this and it only took 4 minutes for a video of 10 seconds!
I also attempted a long exposure at f/22 and ISO 100 with the vertical composition. The water had some great movement so I wanted to get a long exposure and this was shot at 25″ shutter speed.
Thanks for reading! Make sure to stay warm and use layers if going shooting in the cold!
The third day was our last in Lisbon as we were travelling to Porto for the last few days of our trip. I decided to wake up early for a sunrise video since I wasn’t going to have a chance for many timelapses on a travel day. Near our hotel was the scenic Parque Eduardo VII which sits atop a hill in Lisbon overlooking the city. The park has a grass setting with bushes organized in a maze like format.
I left my hotel about an hour before sunrise and walked up to the park (only about 10 minutes away). I did not realize how steep the hill was until I got there! It took another ten minutes to walk up the steep hill to get to the top for my shots. Certainly a nice workout early in the morning I was no expecting!
The rewards were amazing though, the views were to die for on top of the hill. The sun was rising above in the horizon to the left of the hill but I still want to get some shots of the sun rising.
For my timelapse I set the camera centered on the hill with a 6 second interval. My first shot was at ISO 800, f/13, and 1 second shutter speed. I was using my 28 mm f/2.8 lens for this video. As the sun rose, I ramped my ISO and aperture.
I ended up staying for close to an hour shooting 557 photos. My last photo was at ISO 100, f/18, and 1/15 second shutter speed. The sun was above the horizon during my last shots so I wanted to keep the aperture high to get a sun burst effect. The sun was also creating a really cool shadow timelapse on the hill as it got higher in the sky which is always a nice creative effect!
By the time the video was done it was 830 am so I decided to walk back to pack for leaving for Porto. Thanks for reading! Keep posted for more posts from Porto Portugal!
The second full day in Lisbon allowed us to explore the city and all of its hills! We first stopped for breakfast after sleeping some of the jet lag off. The first location we stopped at was the Praca do Comercio which is the main plaza in Lisbon that overlooks the water. It’s really a beautiful location with street views you can see for 2.50 euros going to the arch in the center of the plaza. Highly recommended! See some photos from the arch I took plus a few timelapses. There are two sides to the arch, one overlooking the street and the other overlooking the plaza. Both are really good views of Lisbon. The first timelapse here is the shot of the Lisbon street. I used a 2 second interval for this photo to get some long exposure on the people and cars with a 3 second interval.
From there we went to the Belem Tower which is a 10-15 minute train outside Lisbon. The castle built in the 1100s sits on the Tagus river. For this video I also used a 2 second shutter speed with a 3 second interval for the long exposure on the river and crowd. The day was still a bit cloudy but there was some break coming. We were hopeful for a sunset shot coming later!
For sunset we were going to the Sao Jorge Castle which sits atop Lisbon overlooking the entire city. The views from that location are outstanding and I had looked that it was going to have a nice sunset angle. We got there about 75 minutes before sunset. The entry fee isn’t too expensive (6-8 euro) but the park closes at 6 pm so we had some time to see sunset but not much to stay after.
We walked around the park and found some sitting areas right on the wall overlooking Lisbon and the Tagus river. I was going for a day to night timelapse here ramping my ISO, aperture, and shutter speed with my 28 mm f/2.8 lens. I typically try to keep my shutter speed around 1 second. I had an interval of 7 seconds for this shot. I typically like shorter intervals. If the intervals are too long then the amount of time to see the sunset with brilliant colors can look pretty short on the video.
The weather was looking better and better! And it turned amazing colors after the sun went down which was a sight to see over Lisbon!
In the end the sunset shot was perfect! One of the best I’ve seen and even better when on vacation hoping for a sunset to remember!
After the sunset we walked down towards the town which is much easier than walking up! We stopped for dinner (meat, cheese, and wine!). Then explored the plazas of Lisbon which were decorated for Christmas and lit up! I shot a few timelapses of the streets and plazas with the holiday lights.
Thanks for reading! I hope you enjoy the videos and photos! Look for more posts from Portugal in the near future!
We finally arrived in Portugal! The plan is to stay two nights in Lisbon and three nights in Porto. After an overnight flight from Newark we were ready to begin our journey. We arrived around 830 in the morning and got to our hotel in central Lisbon near 1030. Not too bad of an airport or customs experience at all! The trains are also really convenient in Lisbon with clear maps and stations everywhere. Our flight was a bit tiring considering the constant turbulence but we still had to make most of the day.
The weather was a bit iffy, not too cold at about 55 deg F but some rain and fog. I was hoping the clouds would clear up. We decided to head for a day trip to Sintra which is about 45 min away by train from Lisbon. We bought n all day train pass including the Metro so it was easy getting back and forth.
Sintra sits on top of a hill with a castle and palace. The town itself is pretty cool with very narrow and windy roads and lots of shops. There is a town bus that takes a loop around all the destinations and most importantly take you up the hill! The castle and palace sit on top of the hill so it was even a bit more windy and foggy.
The first location we visited was Castle of the Moors. The castle is from the 9th century and sits overlooking the town. The views were amazing…when they weren’t covered by fog! I found a composition with the castle wall and town that seemed pretty cool. The fog was moving incredibly fast so I was hoping to get a shot of the castle and fog going in and out. For this shot, I used a 1 second interval at 1/250 second shutter speed with ISO 400 and f/9.0 with my 28 mm f/2.8 lens. The video turned out pretty cool with the fog moving so quickly. I wish I could do an interval faster than 1 second though!
The next spot was the Palacio de Pena which is a beautiful palace very close to the castle full of colors and neat little walkways. The location was honestly so cloudy and misty that I could not find a single photo to take for a timelapse. I was trying to play around with a hyperlapse but nothing worked….
After Sintra we took the train back to Lisbon and went to the movie theatre to relax. We watched Star Wars which was great! The movie theatre was underneath an old bull fighting ring called Campo Pequeno. The mall was in the basement of this theatre so after the movie I stopped for a timelapse of the stadium and streets which turned out to be pretty cool. For this timelapse I used a 2 second interval with a 1 second shutter speed at ISO 800 and f/11. I used a 2 interval since the cars were moving pretty quick and I need at least one second in-between photos for the camera and memory card to reset for the next photo. I think the video turned out great with the street and crowds in front of the stadium!
Afterwards we went back to the hotel and saw our street lit up for Christmas. The lights around Lisbon have been really cool so far! Long day but a great adventure so far!
Yesterday evening I drove to Sandy Hook, NJ to take a sunset timelapse of the Twin Peaks Lighthouses. The lighthouses overlook the Sandy Hook area and the sun was setting behind the lighthouse so I thought it was a good chance to get a pretty cool timelapse.
The sun was covered by high clouds so I was optimistic of some good sunset colors. I got there about 345 pm (for a 4:41 PM sunset). I set my interval at 10 seconds and used my 55-300 mm lens. I was debating how close to get to the lighthouse, I decided for some perspective for the light since I was hoping the lighthouse would be more apparent as it darkened outside. My final focal length was 72 mm. My first shots were at f/22 and ISO 100 with a shutter speed of 1/100 seconds.
The sun set behind the light house which was pretty cool and then the light was going off and on. I was hoping it would be more of a rotating light but it was still pretty cool to see it turn on and become lighter.
The sunset didn’t really turn out that great but I still stayed through for the day to night timelapse. My last shot was at 4 second shutter speed, with ISO 500 and f/11. I usually ramp up the ISO to 400 and aperture to f/11 to keep everything sharp at the end of the shot. If apertures get below f/10 it may become apparent that depth of field sharpness is becoming shallower. I ended up staying until 530 pm, about 40-45 minutes after sunset so that it gets dark.
Overall the video turned out really nice, I would like to go back another day for a closer shot too since this is a pretty nice and quiet area for timelapses!
Last weekend I drove to the Appalachian Trail to explore the fall colors of New Jersey. I went to the Stairway to Heaven Trail, the Boardwalk Trail, and High Point State Park. All spots were awesome. My first one was the Stairway to Heaven Trail where I spotted a cool composition of a hillside landscape.
For this video I ended up shooting only 10 seconds of video with a ISO 100, 1/25 sec, f/22 with my 28 mm f/2.8 lens. I was using a 2 second interval since it was pretty windy and the clouds and shadows were moving fairly quickly.
The next location was the Appalachian Trail Boardwalk which was only about 10 minutes away. I was walking around for a bit looking for a good spot but didn’t find anything too appealing so I decided to do a hyperlapse on the boardwalk. For this hyperlapse I was shooting at 1/400 seconds since I was doing a handheld hyperlapse. I took a photo every single plank and moved down the boardwalk. I focused on the tree on the right side of the image every photo to maintain a steady shot in editing. I came up with 310 photos surprisingly which also makes editing easier!
Afterwards I went to High Point State Park, the leaves in the area were awesome colors and I wanted a nice viewpoint of the hillsides and landscape! High Point State Park is the highest point in New Jersey so that was perfect!
My timelapse video was using the Syrp Genie Mini for a nice panning timelapse. I wanted to capture movement in the landscape with the shadows on the hills. I used a 2.5 second interval for rotating near 15 degrees. My settings were f/13, 1/400, and ISO 40. I wanted to capture the movement without too much wind impact!
My last location was at High Point State Park again but at the lake overlooking the monument. The trees, waters, and clouds set a perfect scene here. For this shot I decided to us a ND filter to slow the shutter speed which smoothed out the water. I was at a 3 second shutter speed with ISO 400 and f/13. My interval was 5 seconds to allow buffering time for the photos.
Overall pretty good day with 4 videos and awesome locations that capture the fall beauty of northern New Jersey!
Read Full Article
Read for later
Articles marked as Favorite are saved for later viewing.
Scroll to Top
Separate tags by commas
To access this feature, please upgrade your account.