Getting There : Art of Time-Lapse Photography

All the big noise around Time-Lapse is nothing but an art of planning and organizing your stuff. Time-Lapse is one of the easiest forms of photography but the only complication or issues it has attached with it is – “TIME” as it states in its own name. You would need to organize a lot in terms of your location, what time of the day, the storage, the battery supply, the right mode of angle selection/lens type.

After going through a lot of good, bad and ugly topics, I want to keep this as simple as possible for all the layman to follow from here.  As I mentioned at the beginning it is not at all a hard thing but it involves a lot of resources be it your time, memory cards(Storage), hard drive space, processing speed and few mini endless things you would brag about when you finish your Time-Lapse. An art if you get it right as I am not too much into it but since the arrival of my Go-pro Hero 3 – it has made life easier.

Time-Lapse basics : You would capture essence of the moment, space, motion, light and everything that is frequently in motion around you except your camera. It is more or less like – when in those childhood days you used to draw around the bottom of your notebook on 100 pages and flip them together to see the motion getting generated. So to begin with you would need to figure out where you are planning to shoot and what the resultant would look like – In short – Plan ahead. Managing your time in terms of what kind of resultant would you get if you are to setup your camera on some place and what you expect in the end would be decided by your original placement, view and time of the day.

Using the DSLR you would notice that you can end up eating your battery pack in 1000shots fairly soon and indeed the shutter count of your DSLR would leave you out of your shutter life in total if you are regular photographer whose camera stays closer to your hands than in your camera bag or in some corner of your precious locked shelf. After trying to use my DSLR for Time-Lapse I realized it is possibly not the best way forward to take this approach. I hence moved to the GoPro as it can clock lot more shutters and that is what it is made for.

Now technically, you would need to place your Camera somewhere you are likely to get some good views. When I tried Time-Lapse years ago, I was naive in terms of processing, knowing the FPS  factor and at how much rate it should be used.  A fairly simple example : which is not the best one but to show how a bad frame rate would result leaving the pictures blending fairly uneven.

Points to note : Ensure your camera is on the solid, still base. Regardless be it a Tripod or your car hood or your window pane. You would want to ensure that the movement is next to zero to have the smooth viewing pleasure from it.

Starting with your camera settings: A very important step as your final product will be based on your very first step – which basically means your angle, settings and how you want to start tracking it. Once the camera has been set up, I highly recommend to leave it at one place till you finish that one part of the capture. Generally, it is a wide angle that is being used for capturing huge, wide and vast vistas but you may want to limit yourself to a particular selection depending on your choice. If using Go-Pro, you would generally get a very wide angle view so you either would have to crop your pictures in Post Processing(PP) or in Video editing software. We will talk about all that later, but now – the basic thing – initial setup.
Do remember to adjust your exposure – according to your time of the day and light situation. These can also be changed in after shots using Post Processing but try to avoid it as it becomes a very time consuming process.
I generally prefer to shoot RAW but for Time-Lapse if shooting on a DSLR, I would stick to JPG format to give me more versatile option of huge space. I can edit them afterwards in camera RAW with quite similar options as on RAW images but I generally plan ahead to avoid this from happening. Using GoPro Camera, I would use a 7MP mode to give me a a good view storage size and lots of shutters. I use 32Gb Card in GoPro and the battery generally lasts me upto 90minutes with ease on full charge.  Using 7MP mode – I could generate upto 15k images using two battery packs.

Completing your shots capture: Try to use a remote trigger on a DSLR or you possibly used a Intervalometer. On a GoPro 3 I use a inbuilt wifi to trigger the start and stop mode unless the battery runs flat. If you want to go back to where you left, try not to move or change your Tripod position. Remove the camera from the tripod base without moving it from its original location so to avoid losing the smoothness in your shots. On most DSLRs you would be able to take out the battery/memory cards without having a need to remove them from the Tripod or without moving them. On a GoPro 3, you need more caution due to its small structural size.

Transferring your pictures: As one of the big steps towards this would be successfully moving your images into one single folder as it helps you get a view of all shutters and if you know that you may want to remove some of few shots due to any unwanted movement – you can delete that particular selection. Keeping your raw images in one single folder will also help you streamline your process and save you your valuable time. Try it !!

Processing your pictures: In the past, I have used the Photoshop to process my Time-Lapse but since the advent of GoPro3, it has an inbuilt feature which can make your life lot more easier, simpler and exciting using the GoPro Cineform Studio. Try it regardless where you shoot. GoPro CineForm Studio is a free download from the GoPro Site.

Once downloaded, setup is straight forward and easy.
Once Installed, launch the software icon from the desktop or from the start menu

Launch Screen

Launch the software and click on Import (above)

Click on Import New Files(Below)
Point to note : You will have separate folders(each full folder should have 999pics) for pics in your memory card – so to make life easier, transfer them all to a folder name to your choice or I call it (RAW).

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When you click on the Import new Files, you will get an option to browse to the folder where you saved all the files (below).

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Press “Ctrl+A” to select all and then click on “Open”
You will be amazed with the clever piece of software bit – It makes all the items come together in their own timely manner.

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The first clip on your left hand pane under – Import new files (above) shows you the time length of the total selected pics put together.
But hey, this is a Time Lapse so we want to add a little speed into it.
In this case – it is a quick Time Lapse (848Frames) which comes out to be 00:00:28:08 which would further be reduced in its play time as I speed it up.

So, carefully know how fast or slow you want to play your video. You can always do it again but will have to start from scratch of this following step.
Click on “Advanced Settings”

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I would keep the Frame size as 1080P as proposed to the source. (See Below)
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Click OK on the above box. And you will return to the main window (Below)
Click on File name : Choose your own name
select the final file location : Wherever you want the resultant file to show up.
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Click on the Conversion List and the video will show on the Conversion List.
& Click on “Convert All” button
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You will notice once the processing starts – the red bar starts to show under the Clip.
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Once completed, you need to click on the “Proceed to Step 2” – This is where you can adjust/modify the clip setting to your own likings.
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Welcome to giving those final touches.
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Now, on the right hand side – you will see the Presets option – click on that and your video will suddenly swing into life.
Also, you can play with lot of other sliders on the top – name the video to your own choice.
Once done, click on EXPORT MP4 –

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Once done, you will have your end product ready for you.
In the easiest possible steps for all the novice users too.

Any questions, feel free to ask.
Lets share and learn in the process of sharing 🙂

 

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Yamaha XJ6 Diversion F – Ride Review

Extending my pleasure of riding with experience of years adds on to bring something only few can relate to. After a long day at work whether you commute on a bike or you ride on the weekends or you just do the touring there is everykind of bike for every moment of the occassion. Challenge is when you can fit all the modes of your riding style into one and you get a perfect blend of excitement.

Yamaha XJ6 Diversion F

“Escape the ordinary” as the promoted by YAMAHA for this XJ6 Diversion F ABS model. It is 600cc, liquid coolded 4 cyclinder engine that is guranteed to bring a joy to the rider as the braking is sharp coupled with a very well balanced weight distributed bike. I got a chance to ride on this new demo YAMAHA XJ6 DIVERSION F ABS model as mine Yamaha FAZER FZ6 S2 was in for its 30,000miles service. This new Yamaha XJ6 Diversion F is a bit too small in the feel if you are coming from a bigger bike.  In the first stance from the front it does give you a big feel of a bigger bike but then once you step on it just makes you feel you are the boss. Thats a very welcoming feel for anyone who is coming from a smaller bike or is looking to start for the first big bike. I personally was bit surprised to sit on the bike as it makes you feel you are riding a very light and flickable bike which I will mention in the later section of the blog.

First bit was to get used to clutch and power delivery. Not a problem at all, this bike proved itself a very smooth handling perfectly balanced and light even when you are enjoying the ride. For a change this does not feel like a 600cc at all. This bike gives you a feel of 250cc but actually is lot more under its tank. I had a full day to explore this bike to the limits which is exactly what I did. Plenty of time to observe notice and see how this bike felt. Amazingly, I only have positive feed back for a bike in a very very long time that satisfy all the boxes in the green section.

Riding on the smaller country side roads where you possibly are prone to some rough section of roads with patches of loose gravel you would enjoy the balance this motorcycle provides you. On the smoother section of the roads, this gets even more amazing since the power delivery kicks in and it invites you open the wrist of your right hand as far as you enjoy. Smoother it gets once you get a hang of it. Coming from a standpoint of an advance rider with over 100,000miles under my belt – it does makes me feel enjoy this bike but certainly not very attractive with the prices.

When you get off the bike after your first ride you may want to wonder what makes this so agile, enjoyable and sturdy bike. Some of your answers lie in hidden sections of dynamics and physics behind this bike. The more centralised weight distribution with smaller tyres compared to previous 600cc era, reduction in the size of the exhaust pipes and still you will be astonished to know that this weighs a good 222kgs. Dont be surprised but it does give me shock to feel that it just doesnt have that massive bulky feel to it all. 

I did not get a chance to empty the full tank but the fuel mileage given the consideration over the previous 600cc almost 98BHP bikes this only earns a 75BHP on the same engine which certainly gives all the credit to enhanced fuel mileage. You are looking at between 10-12miles per litre which I would say is very inviting given the fuel prices are only going rocketing high in years to come.

Speedometer is digital just as was in the previous FZ series although it does have a little reduction in its size as compared to previous bikes. The tachometer dial is well presented with extra dash of lines between each thousand RPM reading. I find it overly hard at times to get the figure but it could have been avoided. I think was aimed at the new riders so that does the justice for them. The Indicator and emergency light blinker is all merged into one green double arrowed light indicator. On the right lower side of the tachometer you will find few extra lights with orange, red and amber lights for extra information of ABS or low oil.

Not just Europe but this one bike that is set to rule the heart of Asians too. I would hope that this bike makes its mark in countries like India where 600cc battle is raging on and this bike will set the rest apart. In traffic or on open roads the bike is so flickable that you want to enjoy the feel of the  torque or speed at high revs.

I would personally rate this bike high given it is VFM and possibly very reliable 600.  Unlike its previous successor Fazer this would be a low scoring bike on the power but is good and aimed at same kind of high revs. Top speed is about 120mph where as Fazer FZ6 S2 marks a top of 146mph not to forget that engine is almost 25BHP extra power.

Verdict: Overall a good bike, VFM, good mileage, sleek, smart looks.
(-)ve: None to find but if you are coming from a bigger bike this is not a bike for you. You would rather want to go for older FZ series which are very good engines. Even the 10years old Yamaha FZS6 would give you good power range.

Price comparisons between the XJ series is included in the gallery with technical specs, although all the three models share same specs.

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Special thanks to Saunders Yamaha, Knebworth for providing the bike.
For more pictures visit me on my FB page. Feel free to LIKE the page.
All images are copyright content owned by Mani Babbar Photography.

Love, Sex & Long Distance Relationship

Time and again, this question has been asked so many times for how to manage life when you are in love, want sex and have a long distance relationship. Recently, a friend of mine who happens to be in love had been separated from her boyfriend due to the regional boundaries and other facts based on native origin. The scenario in the question is not just about the fact that Love makes you go blind, Sex becomes a need and Long Distance a barrier. Addressing all three at the same time becomes even more interesting that we humans decide what we want and how we are going to get it that defines satisfaction.

You can easily define all three of them pretty good given you sort them individually. Challenge comes to shove when you are asked to define yourself in love added with need of fuelling sex drive and divide all of it with distance (may be borders) that keep you away.

Love is blind for the matter it is proven with time that you seek to understand what actually is love and what drives the love for you to live in love or out of love. Love brings in lot of responsibilities, understandings and ways to keep your life going that includes the benefits of togetherness. Love gives you a reason to enjoy life and bring lot of new things in your life regardless what your surroundings might be. All good gloomy things don’t last that long and wear out after a period of time. Of course people reading this blog who have been in love know it that Love slows down in the way you felt it the first time or was made to feel that way by your emotions. You defined new things in your life and made yourself feel comfortable with it. With time you moulded the things so much that everything else started to lose its charm and the eventual mend of the human brain took that turn and you move ahead of being in Love. Being practical here, Love wears out if you are too much in it for making yourself blind and stopping the freedom. For us humans’ falling in love is always easier than staying in it forever.

One thing leads to another the chain of human bonding needs that physical togetherness something which is hard coded into the genes of our desires and characteristics. Agree or not, we all have it within us. Some to say who are in love, it becomes more of chained process to live your desires, lust and sensual emotions with that one person they have been expecting it all the time. Again that weariness comes in sooner or later. Being true, for not that I have never looked out of a relationship – I have. I had a huge history of not being able to contain myself once because of my ex who was too possessive to even see me with another woman. She would throw tantrums that eventually lead me to get away from her. I got accepted in myself being human is more to be being yourself. If you are not yourself you are more or less living a life based on lies around you and your volcano of lies will erupt causing you all the hurt. Why hide it when you have it, I have not cheated on my partner but her being aware of who I am – she understands the fact it is more to personality than to the person. Defining it all may not be best since I already know many of you readers are going to come to the point – It doesn’t matter. It does depending on which gender of sex you are. Prolific thinking guys won’t accept it for all that given matter of fact to prove his innocence and a girl would not go that route for it’s against the typical society upbringing. Our taboos of do and don’ts when it comes to being in a society are generally not openly accepted. Hidden we live these desires and lock them down in the closed doors back our darkest corners. The three letter word becomes a good way to inspire you to stay in love or to be in love and seek no more. For those who seek to see beyond that are generally famed with various names of cheap and dirty levels since others can’t keep up with those thoughts. Sex is a part that some can contain and some cannot contain whether you are in love or ahead of love. To spice up things one is generally not to keen that it takes an effort of not one but two persons if especially you are in love. Anyways those lessons later on, the gist of everything here is being honest to your needs and desire is way above cheating and hiding yourself.

Now spice up the real excitement, add the long distance relationship to the love and sex part. Everything becomes even more spiced up knowing that part of the game is way incomplete in its real essence. Love has a meaning that is completed with sex being part of the package and then the real person in itself is way too far to complete this very interesting part of love life. Connected by the virtual life who can be separated in this world whether you live 2 hours away or 2000miles away given Skype, telephone and video conferencing is so much a part of our existence. Relationship remains where it was, you live in a shell of its own which is incomplete unless you really live together 24x7x365 routine to know whether you can exist together or not.

Bring in all the three – Love, Sex and Long Distance Relationship; in the picture again. Condition starts to add into everything would your partner want to understand you given you love him/her but you have desires that hang over you all the time. Now do you want to break it up for all the good or the bad things? Would you carry on the sailing ship till the next coast through the tides of high and low given you are on the platform which supports both its ends. In long distance relationships where you already know each other and are separated the fact of being honest, open and able to say yourself of your desires will not only keep you in safe haven it will also bond your relationship if it is for real.

Downsides of all this is hurt. One person knocking out the other out of a relationship/love or completely hiding the facts will all lead to an unrecoverable damage. You need to understand what all is involved when you set your feet on a boat that is sailing because of you two. When one bails out the other one would cease to sink or eventually battle out the braves all alone. Better keep in mind what you seek what you desire and if you can iron out your desires with distance that keeps you waiting for long.

Priceless

Money can buy us everything so do the Master card or the Visa but what they cannot buy you is a person who can match the rhythm of your soul to beat the blues out of you and make you feel like a Tarzan or simply make you feel like play in the sand beach building your own castles or writing endless stories by the shore of water that will soon be wiped off with the tides of see.

Some things that come into our lives are priceless since they make you feel lively yet so powerfully strong from inside. Complexity of human life that surrounds us is not easy but to find that balance of refreshing yourself is what matters the most. One such thing that has been a part of my life regardless where I exist in my physical presence has never stopped me from doing what makes me, what form the part of me & what adds me to be myself – Travel.

Travel is a form of changing your views, thoughts and outlook to yourself. To look at yourself and judge yourself you must seek the power of yourself by allowing yourself to be seen and noticed by the ones who can give you that feeling of yourself. We all have our own ways of expressing who we are, one of such things that makes this is the way I travel. Travel to not travel but to connect to myself.  I have read it somewhere  “The best way to know a person, is to travel with them” adds to sum up everything in itself.

One of the most recent of my travels added a new dimension to my life. Learning with sharing comes in its own wonderful package if it is done without a motive to just become who you are and how you want to look at this or address this. I took on one of my friends for a trip this time and it happened that we ended up learning things from each other in the way we are ourselves. To live the life on the move, is to keep moving towards the next goal in your life.  To add to all this I have just been thinking of how priceless the time becomes when it has the happy  memories attached to it. All fresh in the memory of my mind as long as it is there without getting wiped off – I would want to put this down somewhere here that I had a super trip with JM to Beer covering a whole 630miles in 3days that not only gave me a new destination but also a new friend. Riding in rain, riding in winds, riding up and down the countryside hills, standing in the winds that make us not stand still, looking down the cliffs of Purbeck, finding the shells embedded in the Jurassic sea side, climbing up the cliffs like an ape, being a monkey on a tree swinging like Tarzan, riding 200kmph, watching starry night standing listening to the waves go under our feet, generating fire the ancient way by stones, waiting to do long exposure shots with a failure of a remote to perform, cold freezing hands, find our own way around the Corfe castle,  saving a mouse getting killed under my wheel, drinking cider in beer, playing dirty hands and feet in green fungus of water boulders, opening the wine cork without the cork opener, drinking cider on the rocks, getting annoyed by the “Road closed” signs, getting lost in the unknown roads, leaving the linen painted, getting stopped by the police, riding in night without rear light working, collecting the shells in the night, talking while sleeping, finding marshes, crossing ferry, snapping the bungee cord, blackout shots, B&B hunting, fire alarm panic, 127 hours, best Indian food, scratching, play of light, landscapes  = It all adds up to being  PRICELESS