Bradgate Park – Timelapse at sunrise

Good morning, Leicester.

Good morning, Leicester.

This year I’ve decided to do a photo and video project based in and around Leicestershire, showcasing what the region  has to offer. As part of this, and as the start of this project I headed out to a spot I know well, Bradgate Park near Newtown Linford. Read on to see the results.

For Christmas, my wife bought me a Digislider – a motorised glide rail which is commonly used to give the side-to-side movements you usually see in the awe-inspiring sequences in BBC’s Planet Earth, Africa etc. I’d wanted to give this a go for a while, and was looking for a photographic project for the year so it was an excellent present.

A few weeks ago I went to the same location to try and start off the project but thick fog thwarted me. Today looked much more promising so I headed off to Bradgate Park and took the walk up to Old John to get the vantage point that I wanted.

I set up my Digislider on my Manfrotto and Redsnapper tripods, set my Canon 5D Mark II in manual mode, added my Lee filters to balance the exposure and then decided on how I was going to do the timelapse. I decided that my ‘intervals’ would be three seconds, my aperture would be set to maximise depth of field, the focal length nice and wide and the shutter speed… well, that was up for debate!

As it was around sunrise I knew that the scene would get brighter through the half hour or so that I’d be doing the timelapse capture – so setting and forgetting a shutter speed would not work. Instead I set the shutter so my camera was metering around a stop underexposed. I started the timelapse and the motion of the Digislider and then kept a careful eye on what the meter was saying between shots. Once I saw that the meter was reading around a stop overexposed I quickly shortened the shutter speed to bring it back to a ‘normal’ exposure. In all, there were around four stops of exposure different between the first shot and the last.

Whilst this may sound a little strange, I knew that I had a secret weapon at home – LRTimelapse. LRTimelapse is a fantastic program which can help balance up your exposures and give a seamless transition through sunrises, sunsets etc. If you’re interested in timelapse photography then I’d strongly recommend checking out the LRTimelapse website.

So, the end result of the morning’s efforts?

This is the beginning of my Leicestershire project, please keep visiting to see the rest!