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Canon XH Series HDV Camcorders
Canon XH G1S / G1 (with SDI), Canon XH A1S / A1 (without SDI).


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Old August 1st, 2008, 08:39 AM   #1
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Filming Sunset with A1

I want to timelapse the sunset and reverse it to make it a sunrise but am worried about pointing my camera at the sun for an hour. Is there a safe way to do it? Also what settings should I use so the lighting stays beautiful?
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Old August 1st, 2008, 09:02 AM   #2
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I've done this many times. My camera overexposes badly when doing these kind of shots so I control it manually.

I shoot with a V1 and I change the knee to compress the highlights. This helps the sun from being blown out. I then crush the blacks due to the CMOS noise that I get with my camera as the scene gets darker.

From there I watch the histogram and at the right time I'll drop the ND filters. This does create a "bump" in the brightness but its a rapid and easy to find change in post that I cut out and grade so the sections go together seemelessly.

You can see an example of a sunset I shot here (comments welcome):
http://dieseladdict.blip.tv/file/247206/

Download the HDV WMV version and watch it. It looks a lot better than the flash version they create. The HD WMV version also displays as the correct aspect ratio.
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Old August 2nd, 2008, 04:20 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nathan Quattrini View Post
I want to timelapse the sunset and reverse it to make it a sunrise but am worried about pointing my camera at the sun for an hour. Is there a safe way to do it? Also what settings should I use so the lighting stays beautiful?
Just a thought...

In addition to reversing the time (to make sun set into sun rise), you might consider a horizontal flip as well - depending upon the geographic setting for your film.

When filming a sun rise in the northern hemisphere, the horizontal motion of the sun against the horizon is from left to right. The horizontal motion of the sun setting in the northern hemisphere is also left to right. There is more horizontal motion during (local) winter months and the closer to the Earth's poles that your setting is...

If you film a sun set in the northern hemisphere and simply reverse time on the film to get a sun rise, the horizontal motion of the sun against the horizon is from right to left. This would be correct for a sun rise in the southern hemisphere, but not for the northern hemisphere. So to get the correct horizontal motion of the sun rise from a film of the sun set, you need to flip the image horizontally as well as reverse the time.
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Old August 2nd, 2008, 04:22 PM   #4
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Lee, the wether man anchor. I'm playing. That's some good info, though. Thanks!
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Old August 3rd, 2008, 01:11 AM   #5
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I have done a few of these and have had no ill effects on the camera. I think that the longest I have let the camera roll is probably around 50 minutes however.

I prefer to lock the ND filters and exposure in (using zebras) on the sky for the duration of the shot. This causes anything in the foreground to silhouette, but I think that it looks great if there are mountains or other features with sharp lines in the foreground. I like the effect of the light draining out of the image as the sun descends.

I think that adjusting the exposure over time looks great too, but I have yet to master the techniques mentioned by Chris. I am taking notes and think that is something for me to try in the future.

I have a few examples here:

http://www.vimeo.com/user523172/videos
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