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When I'm working with a budget oriented system, essentially something that costs less than a thousand dollars, they often have limitations. In this case, I'm getting ready to do a panning time lapse. Now it's great, it can control the camera and it's a motorized pan, but I only really have movement along one axis. It's going to pan horizontally to reveal the shot. What this means is is that I can get a good shot, but I can't really deal with a difficult subject if that subject is at an angle. For example, I can't really start at the bottom of the building and pan up.
Or I can't start at the bottom lower corner and then move at a diagonal. So it's important to really think about the movement with the shots. You don't want to crank these around but as you design shots, one of the cool things is is that you will be able to actually preview them. So if I set up a shot, I could choose to preview it. And this is going to allow me to really tell what's happening. Now I haven't designed this shot yet because what I don't want to do is shoot the wall. But you get the idea. By previewing the shot and really thinking about its beginning and end, I could pull things off.
This particular movement as you saw there, is going to be really good at a smooth pan. So, as I look out over at my horizon here, I am going to go from one side to the other. Now, I have ability to pan clockwise or counter-clockwise. With this panning motion, another consideration is going to be the lens length. I'm going to choose to shoot with a longer lens so I can really punch in on the subject. I don't want to be so wide that the pan ends up cutting things off. So it's going to be important to shoot at a high resolution and a relatively reasonable focal length, for example, I'm going to go somewhere between 45 millimeters and 100 millimeters with this particular scene.
This is going to give me a relatively tight shot of the horizon, and let me reveal things as I move across. Now of course, you can always use wider panning shots, but I find with a more limited budget system, a tighter shot tends to work well, because you're not doing as much panning or tilting in multiple directions simultaneously. Rather, it's a more limited reveal, and for that, tighter generally works better.
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