Jeff Morris picked up our TB3 in the fall of 2012. He walked a little, then decided that it was time to get a Staff Pick on Vimeo for his "it was the light"
It was the light from Jeff Morris on Vimeo.
Jeff has been a great customer and is a wonderful example of what you can do with motion control timelapse. He was kind enough to do an interview with us so that we could share his experiences.
Why did you choose the TB3, Jeff?
After searching for a reliable Pan/Tilt head for a couple of weeks a friend of mine recommended that I check out eMotimo. I was looking for something that was small and lightweight so I could travel with it easily. Depending on the shoot I normally carry anywhere from 50-200lbs of camera gear. Durability was also a key factor because I knew I would be taking the TB3 on long hikes and to extreme locations. I've had my eMotimo TB3 for 4 months now and it has held up great and really helped me pull off some difficult time lapse moves.
How long does a typical shot take you to set up?
One of my favorite things about the eMotimo TB3 is how quick I can setup my shot and start shooting. As many photographers know when you see perfect lighting on something sometimes you only have minutes to setup and get the shot. After using my TB3 for a couple days I felt pretty comfortable with it and can set up and be shooting in less than two minutes. I don't always rush through the set up that fast but I can if I have to.
What was your favorite shot with the TB3? How did you do it?
My favorite shot I filmed with the TB3 was the pan/tilt clip where the camera spins about 320 degrees to the left on a foot bridge downtown. I waited for over an hour to pull that off. The lighting had to be just right to mix the heavy rush hour traffic lights with the sky at "Blue hour."
I started the shot facing down the bridge at the entrance and programed the TB3 to shoot 50 static shots before it started the move. After setting my in point I panned 320 degrees and made the camera slightly tilt up to accommodate for the up hill bridge. I then set a three second interval and set the move duration to 424 photos. I allowed for a 2 second time between the move and the shot, then set a 50 photo ramp to the beginning and end of the move so when the camera started moving if would look smooth. Last step was one of the most important in getting the shot to look just how I wanted it. I set a 50 frame time to the beginning and end (Lead In and Lead Out). That way the camera wouldn't move for the first two seconds so I could capture the lights on the bridge turning on and then have the TB3 start the move. It was also very important that the shot stayed static after the move once it hit the end point to help show off the freeway traffic below. which I thought was the most important part of the clip. The final shot took just over 30 minutes to capture.
What were your biggest challenges with this shoot?
The hardest challenge I came across while filming "It was the light" was the weather. San Diego is known for having clear blue skies and nice weather almost all year round. To me I feel that blue skies makes for boring time lapse. I want clouds! haha. I spent a lot of time checking webcams through out the county to see if the sky was worth shooting. That saved me a lot of time and gas.
What is your background photography and film?
I always had some type of camera in my hand as a child. I started filming and editing skateboard videos of my friends at the age of 13. In late 2000, I was hired to film skateboard videos professionally and started traveling the world. As I slowly started getting more interested in time lapse photography the eMotimo TB3 just seemed like the right tool for the job. I couldn't be happier with my purchase.