20 September 2013

Camino de Santiago - Chapter 1

We have spent the last 2 weeks enjoying the splendid views and tasty pleasures of the first 50 km of the Camino de Santiago - the Napoleon route. We walked with kit and tent attached to our backs from St Jean Pied de Port in France, over the Pyrenees to Pamplona in Spain, stopping here and there along the way, whenever we saw a potential time-lapse.  We camped on the edge of a cliff in crazy winds, deep in a forest valley next to a magical flow of sparkling water, out in the open surrounded by horses with bells, and every night under the twinkling milky-way.  We are still ironing out a few technical issues but nevertheless proud to present the first instalment of our time-lapse series.

The technical bit: 
Shot with Canon 5D and 600D, using the 16-35 mm, 24 mm L-series and telephoto lens 100-500 mm.
The motion control was achieved with a Digislider add-on to a 1m track, with a 9v battery powered slow motor and 3 axis motion control head - the Orion Teletrack, powered by x2 9v batteries.
There are not many electric plugs in nature, so we made good use of a 10W solar panel from Voltaic. It charges camera and 9v batteries, and powers the laptop long enough to off-load pictures (Raw files can eat up the card pretty quickly, 32 gb card is full after shooting 2 time-lapses) Unfortunately the solar panel does not give enough energy to the laptop to process all HDR shots, but we are looking to solve this issue in the future somehow. Please feel free to comment if you have nay suggestions on this front:)
For HDR batch processing we used Photomatix Pro.  We also used Panolapse http://www.panolapse360.com . We used both of its really great features - the extra panning movement that warps the image to any set lens size (in those times when 9v batteries decided to have a day off) and also the RAWblend option - to stabilise the flicker in the morning/evening shots when light is changing rapidly. Very happy about the smooth results of this program, as sometimes we had some issues with the automatic Bulb ramping option on Magic Lantern, which is otherwise an amazing software hack for your canon camera, that gives you good consistent HDR bracketing and intervalometer functions. In our final shot, the one with the band stand lighting up, we manually adjusted the shutter speed, and it seems to have worked pretty well.  
Patience is the name of the game in time-lapse.
For the final edit we used Final Cut Pro. 
Music: Tarja - New Land 

Looking forward to hearing your thoughts on the video, specifically your thoughts on how we might be able to improve what we do.

Enjoy :) 


  1. Fabulous first video - absolutely loved it, especially the stars at night - incredible! Watched The Way lat night and have to say, was very unconvinced by either the story or the characters - I just couldn't sympathise with any of them, in a good OR bad way! Am enjoying your camino far more!! xxx

  2. Really impressed with the video... Congratulations for your fantastic view of Navarra, my Land, as named in the touristic info "The kingdom of Navarra, Land of diversity" as you show in only 50km.

  3. Me again! Posted your timelapse video on facebook and wanted to share with you what my Italian friend Chantelle said about it:
    amazing video! i'm in love with time-lapse now, i want to learn to do it myself! brilliant your brother's put all that technical info too.....really stunning, wow, wow, wow!!

    1. Thanks for your kind words Rebecca! You are one of our most keen fans:) Thanks for sharing the comment from Chantelle, we do have a time-lapse school in our long term plans, so if she likes to learn more she should get in touch! Sending greetings to Africa:) D