I’ve been shooting time-lapse video of bits of the San Francisco skyline and sky for a couple of months now. Bernalwood has been kind enough to feature a few of them on that fine local blog. The video above, “Sutro v Clouds,” is just about my favorite (maybe tied with Wednesday night’s moonrise). In this video, you’re looking at the following “layers,” front to back:
- 1500 block of Oakdale
- All Hallows Church spire
- Bernal Hill
- Sutrito Tower
- Twin Peaks
It’s amazing how little equipment it takes to do these, if you’ve already got an iPhone. The mini-tripod, telephoto lens, and iPhone case with threads that you screw the lens into, are just $35 total from photojojo.com. Yes, I mentioned this in the last post, and no, I’m not getting any personal financial reward from mentioning them. I just think it’s a fantastic deal! The time-lapse app I’ve been using lately is iMotion HD, which is free to try but costs a few bucks if you want to export anything (in-app purchase).
That’s an old t-shirt/windshield cleaning rag propping up the back legs of the tripod. The slope of the dashboard made the tripod want to tip over backwards, so I improvised. On another shoot, I could only get the shot from the driver’s side, where there wasn’t enough room to stand up the tripod. I had to lay it down flat and use the weight of an external iPhone battery to hold it in place.
I shoot at 1 frame per second, and set the video to play back at 30 fps. So for a one-minute video like “Sutro v Clouds,” above, I’m sitting in my car for 30 minutes. I try not to look like a stalker, but once a neighbor stopped by and asked if I was on a stakeout.
I was really pleased with the conjunction of various towers and peaks from this location, and couldn’t believe my luck when the clouds started putting on a show. I got home and threw it up on the big screen with the Apple TV to admire it.
My cat was also interested, but she had a suggestion on composition.