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Learn how to speed up time and create compelling visual effects with time-lapse photography. Join Rich Harrington in the field as he captures nature's patterns at Red Rock Canyon in southwestern Nevada, and shows how to frame your scene and choose the proper camera settings. He'll show you how to capture great images, whether you're using a DSLR camera and a motorized slider or just a smartphone you have handy. Then join him back in the studio to transform your still footage into a storytelling time-lapse video, using tools like Photoshop, Premiere Pro, and Final Cut Pro.
This course was created and produced by Rich Harrington. We are honored to host this content in our library.
Rich: You've seen me fix lots of issues on several shots. Instead of doing some sequences here, I'm just going to pull five frames from some of my other time lapse sequences. And I want to show you where these shots began, versus where they ended up. Let's quickly process five shots, and then I'll show you the end movies so you can judge them as well. Here we go. Have a wide range of shooting situations. We start off very early in the morning, get to better clouds mid-day, late afternoon, coming up on sunset, and then back in Vegas for the evening, shooting the Bellagio fountains. Well, there's a lot to fix here.
And we have an incredible wide range of time periods to adjust. Let's just select all those and open them up in Camera Raw. We'll start with the first one here and click Auto as a base point. It's looking pretty good and I'm going to pop the clarity because I want the rocks to come through. I don't want to overdo it but that looks pretty good. A little lift to the shadows. And recover my highlights. Bring the vibrance way out to pop that sky.
But tone the saturation down so the rocks don't dominate. Looking good. We'll quickly take advantage of Lens Profile Correction, and over in effects, I'll stylize this a bit with the vignette to draw the viewers eye towards the center. And round it out with a little S-curve. Pull the highlights up, shadows down and we're looking pretty good. Let's just back off that saturation a bit.
Vibrance looks good for the sky. Rocks look pretty good there. Next. This one's not bad. The base exposure's pretty much there on a click of an auto. But I'd really like to bring the sky out. Let's get a nice, rich, dramatic blue sky. And Clarity is going to just make those rocks pop. However, I want to be selective here. I want the clouds to be dramatic but not the rocks as much. So let's bring that up a little bit.
And then take the adjustment brush. We're going to make a new adjustment here and dial in clarity. There it is. We'll pop that up to about 60. And down below here, I will tell it to automatically mask, and show the mask. Let's make that a bright red color, so we can easily see it. Now, Automask is beautiful. It will detect the edges for us as we drag, and I don't have to be that accurate.
Here we go. And that allows me to paint in just the settings I want. There we go. Left bracket, smaller brush. And I could be very accurate. Alright, that looks great. If I want to check my mask, I can always adjust it here. Notice I can dial in the opacity, making it thicker and that makes it really easy to see if I properly got all the areas I thought I got. So let's dial in that cloud region just a little bit more. If you need to, you can switch to Erase, if you have to erase from the mask. At this point, I did a great job of grabbing that, and now we can really pop that.
So let's increase the contrast on the clouds a bit. Play with the shadows, dropping 'em down a little. There we go. And dial in the right exposure for the sky. Before, after. That's looking really cool. And I'll put a little more clarity in there. And even a little bit of sharpness. Alright, my clouds went from looking good to looking great, and the cool thing there is that I can just paint that in on the one frame, and then synchronize it across the rest of the shots.
Alright, next image. Never hurts to just take a stab with auto. Not too bad. Looks like we have two little spots. Or three or four, usually the case. Not too bad there. And let's dial that in. In this case, I want to play with the white balance, and I'm going to try going with something that didn't make sense. Obviously we weren't under flourescent or Tungsten lighting.
But cooling that shot down gave it a feeling that I liked. Shade, on the other hand, warmed it up dramaticallly. So I'm going to go with flourescent. And then finesse that a bit with the temperature slider. Putting a little tint in there to dial in the amount that I want. That feels better. Let's bump the contrast and bring out the clarity to really pop those rocks. And again vibrance in the sky is going to push that blue.
Before, after. So even though it was much later in the day, we're able to warm that shot up and unify it so these two shots could go together and not feel jarring. That's one of the advantages of manipulating the color temperature and the overall white balance to give you that look. Now we're moving into the evening. So I want these next two shots to feel like night. Let's dial that in. It bumped up the base exposure. And in this case, I'm going to bring the color in really strong.
That's looking pretty good. Let's dial the exposure back down. And in fact, I want to let those shadowy regions go to almost a silhouette. Using the Highlights slider there, I could dial the intensity in, and play with Contrast. It's looking good. In fact, I'll take Clarity down to a negative value so the mountain doesn't come as dominant. And so now, we're going to see shifts in color and subtle changes in the sky throughout the sequence as the sun set.
But the rocks are not as distracting. Instead, I'm focusing on the fog and the mist and the atmospherics as opposed to the mountaintop. Alright, let's go to something completely the other direction, absolute hyper-reality. And this is an opportunity to really bring clarity out in architectural environment. It just makes those details pop, and you really can see the strong lines happening. Now, this particular building is curved, so I'm not going to worry about getting these perfectly straight but I will take advantage of Lens Profile Correction.
Let's come over here to the manual tab and we'll finesse it just a bit. Turn on the grid. That's looking pretty good except that building up there is crooked. Not dramatically crooked but subtly crooked. Notice the grid and the alignment. So let's take the align tool, click and drag along that edge of the building, and let it adjust. That worked well, and we can crop. Now at this point I'll turn that grid off and finish the finessing. Lot of vibrance to bring out those colors.
Pull down the saturation, so that the reds and yellows don't become dominant, just the cool blue. And I like how that electric light is now feeling. And I'll play with the highlights, recessing those more, to recover the fountain outside the Bellagio. Lift the shadows a bit, to get the architectural details back. And that's feeling pretty good. We'll dial in a little bit of a vignette at the edge, and there it is, before and after.
Quite a different shot. So I just took you through very different shots, but applied all the tools you've learned in this lesson. And I want you to see the thought process. It's never just one thing, you're going to find yourself bouncing from tab to tab inside Adobe Camera Raw. But move with confidence and move with speed, don't over think. You can always try something out and if it doesn't work undo, or reset the image. Remember, when working with RAW, it's a non-destructive work flow, so get in there and dial in the look that you want.
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