If you’ve been following along
The last few posts covered some animation basics
However, if the animation involves photos
Some photography basics enter the equation, too
In today’s world apps like Instagram hide lots of flaws
But good photographers try to get it right in the camera
10 images made at 5 minute intervals
Used proper camera settings to show progression of light
5 images spanning 30 minutes from dark to near daylight
Incorrect camera setting to show the progression of light
Note the street and car lights (box at center at start)
At start the lights are on, it’s dark, & by #5 they’re off
However, the overall scene brightness is mostly the same
The camera’s meter + Aperture Priority maintain middle gray
Not so good if we want to show the progression of light
Note – the two final images sandwiched between the black sides
Show the start & end of the progression
Color shifts are from auto-WB
The above two examples illustrate a situation where
If you’re shooting a time-lapse sequence for animation
Understanding of camera basics is essential
In particular, if you want to show the progression of light
As you saw it in the approaching dawn or dusk
You need to understand how to control exposure
This is a case where “auto-anything” is not your friend
In the 2nd example above
Aperture priority kept the brightness constant
Auto white balance gave color shifts
Neither of which are wanted in this case
So what is the answer?
1. The absolute MUST for capturing the light progression is
You MUST use MANUAL EXPOSURE MODE!!
To get started
Do whatever you want to get the 1st image’s exposure to look like what you see
I typically use a combination of aperture priority & exposure compensation to match what I’m seeing
Once you get this starting image –
Note the camera’s aperture & shutter speed settings
Then – switch to manual exposure and
Set aperture & shutter speed to match those settings
2. That’s not all – no auto white balance either.
Pick a manual WB setting like cloudy (& shoot RAW, too)
Note that shooting auto-WB and RAW (as I did for the sunrise)
Only solves part of your problem
The shot to shot color will still be changing, but
Good news – RAW allows you to fix it
Bad new – you have to fix every image individually
Why not go manual & have all the colors the same?
3. No auto-anything-else either. Like ISO for example.
These manual-everything guidelines apply to panoramas, too
Else, the images will vary from shot to shot and
The stitching won’t be seamless
Also for panoramas – NO polarizer
This may seem to be belaboring the obvious
Many novices don’t understand this
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