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01/27/15 Clouds in motion–A wonderful Time Lapse series from my home

Time Lapse series from Little Rock

Still from a Time Lapse of cloud motion near my home

I know I need to fix that deck rail for sure.  But for now my deck has been a great place to capture some great cloud motion.  I am going to get out soon in to the field and start this, but I am still learning and have found out a few things about the GoPro4 Hero Black

  1. The aperture being fixed at F2.8 really tends to allow brighter parts of a sky to be totally blown 255:255:255, i.e. pure white
  2. You can spot meter the brighter portion of the image, but there is not way to lock that exposure down.
  3. The GoPro4 Hero Black has two ways to help control this, EV adjustment and iso control, but even with both of these at the lowest settings you will blow highlights.
  4. The 12MP jpgs from ths camera are loaded with details and considering the camera, I am impressed.
  5. At iso ranges of 100 to 400, there is a lot of extra dynamic range left in the shadows that can be pulled up in software like Premiere Pro.

This video is a improvement over some of my earlier versions, but there are still some massive blow outs.  I realize that I could be using my DSLR cameras and taking the same type of shots, but the GoPro does make it a lot easier to work with.  I took this in 5 second series, but as the clouds were really moving, I might have wanted to consider 2 second series instead.

One other thing I have learned, the iPhone 6+ will not connect via WiFi to the GoPro4.  I have tried everything I can think of.  Actually the iPhone 6+ will connect to the WiFi, but for some reason the GoPro app, can’t connect.  I have made the WiFi connection many times with my iPhone 6+, but it seems that to pair (something that is different with the GoPro4), you also need to make a Bluetooth connection and no matter what I try, I can’t pair the unit.  So for now, I am still using my older iPhone 5 to control the GoPro4.

I would never try to setup such a camera from the menu on the camera as the LCD is just too small and it’s a bit confusing.  My iPhone 5 connects every time, however in certain spots where there may be a lot of other WiFi signals, it may take several attempts.  However once attached it does stay that way.  The drain on the phone is not too bad.

I have now determined that I should be able to get about a one and half (90 minutes) time lapse with one battery installed.  A 64GB card is plenty to hold the series and a lot more.  Not sure how long it would last on pure video, but I am still learning that.





01/20/15 Sunset time-lapse from my back deck

sunset, Arkansas, Little Rock, time laspe, gopro4, pretty sunset, clouds,

Little Rock Arkanas Sunset in mid January

Since I went ahead and upgraded my Gopro Hero 3 black to a Hero 4, I have been having much more success with time lapse  in situations where there are extreme changes in lighting, like sunsets and sunrise conditions.

This is a quick video taken on the 20th of January where you can see the changes over about 45 minutes, from when the sun was just starting to hit the horizon to around 20 minutes after.

There is a bit of movement in this, due to my slightly moving the camera during one of the segments.  I took this video in 8 different segments to allow more control over the sunset lighting.  I have found that there is more control with the GoPro Hero4 with the Protune options, than with the much older GoPro Hero3.  When I first started to use the GoPro Hero 3, I found that the sky would constantly overexpose, unless it was a very dark day.  However if here was any sunlight on the clouds, that they tended to get blown out.  Totally blown out, to pure white.

After watching hundreds of videos and time lapse sequences by others on Youtube, I realized that most photographers don’t seem to worry about over exposure on background elements, however in a sunset like this one, the clouds one of the key elements of the scene.

With the Hero 4, and Protune you have a lot more control as you now can set the iso (from 100 to 800), and there is an EV control, ranging from -2 to +2 stops.  Both of these settings have come in very handy for me.

My main interest for the GoPro was in time lapse work and so far I am liking what I have been able to capture with the Hero 4.  I am hoping to get out to one of my favorite landscape spots in the near future and setup for a longer series.

This series was taken in 5 second series. I used Premiere Pro to combine all of the various segments and then work on the shadows in the foreground.  I was impressed with how well the GoPro 4 allowed for shadow recovery.  You can see in the top photo just how dark the foreground was during the shoot, but in the video, I was able to capture quite a bit of extra detail, without a lot of noise.