© 2013 Jon Ottar Runde

Timelapse Under water

I am using a Nikon D800E with a Nikon 14mm wide angle, all in a Nauticam housing.
I am also filming using a GoPro Hero3 Black edition. Lighting on this little clip, is a Archon LED Videolight, with a whopping 10000 lumens of light.
Actually This Light here
Since Nikons has a built in timer, I can do timelapse, also under water.
This is my second attempt of an UV-timelapse, and I am learning a lot here, here are a few of the key point to create a timelapse:
I have a UV-camera-stand, but an old plastic/alu-stand can probably be used just as well. I used two 2 kg/4pound wwights, to keep everything stable.
So, lets make a timelapse;

  • Have camera, UV-Housing, stand and weights ready.
  • Do you have a big enough memory-card, to take 500-1000 pictures? enough battery? enough burn-time on lights?
  • Find a nice place, maybe a wall, or something that is reasonably flat(all parts of picture equally long from lense), as depth of field might be an issue
  • Make sure you have something that actually moves in the picture, i.e. startish
  • Put camera on stand, use wights to make it stand still, take a few test-pictures, until you are happy with the base picture. Use histogram to verify correct exposure, do not trust screen.
  • I used 2* 1000-lumen video-lights to get steady light, you might get away with no light, or may need more.
  • In this sequence, I used 1/60 sek, F8, Iso 1600, this you got to figure out yourself…
  • I always use RAW, even on timelapse, and underwater; absolutely!
  • Camera must be on manual!, no automatic stuff
  • When you are happy with the picture, and focus is OK – turn off autofocus. On my housing I have a button on the left side of it.
  • OK, Now; fire up the interval timer (not the timelapse mode the newer cameras have! -thats crap -you will want to have RAW-files to work with) -and start it up.
  • I used 4 seconds between shots on this little example, quick=good, as slowing down later is easy, speeding up is hard.
  • Now, leave the camera alone (Yes I know, it’s hard…) -do something else, make sure your light do not shine anywhere close to the camera, a few frames in the middle of a timelapse with to much light, may destory it all.
  • Please make sure you know where the camera is, and after a while, get it. The longer you wait, the better. it is always nice to have to much footage.
  • Now, go home and create a movie from you pictures. I use Lightroom and lrtimelapse, but there are plenty of ways to do that…

Example, filmed with Gopro+timelapse with d800

Hero3 og timelapse på Svestad from Jon Ottar Runde on Vimeo.