View Full Version : Time-Lap's tank shots

02/03/2017, 08:23 PM
I got a Cannon T6 Rebel for xmas with a bundle of the lens. It comes with its normal lens, and a 75-300 lens. I'm going to set my camera up looking through the tank lengthwise and hope to be able to take a time lap's over the span of a few days. If anyone who has done something similar or just knows could you help me out?

I run my tank LED's closer to the warm 10-14k range for 6 hours and in the 340-420k ramping down for 2 hours to moonlighting. any help or advice would be great :wave:

Reef Bass
02/04/2017, 08:06 AM
An interesting project and not without its challenges.

Are you wanting time lapse video or stills? Capturing images 24/7 or just while tank lights are on?

If I were to attempt this I would set up the camera on a tripod and use a remote shutter release with a built in intervalometer and leave it there. A fixed point of reference is preferable.

If you intend to shoot 24/7, you're going to need supplemental lighting when the tank lights are out. And with that you're likely to have white balance issues between tank light and supplemental light.

With your 10-14k tank lights, auto white balance will likely not be up to snuff. Most cameras are not built to handle (auto white balance) high color temperature lighting (>10,000K or 10k, 10,000K abbreviated. K is for Kelvin, used for color temperature scale and other things), which is why many reef photographers shoot in RAW and adjust the white balance themselves during post.

I suspect your statement of 340-420k color temperature is not accurate. That would be insanely invisible off the ultra violet end of the color temperature scale. I believe you're talking about 340-420nm, the frequency of the light versus its color temperature. Either way, the white balance between your day lights and moon lights will white balance differently.

You could certainly try using auto white balance. It won't break anything. Colors just won't be right / what you see with your eyes.

I am of the opinion that the night time supplemental illumination, whether continuous or flash based would likely, at least initially, alter the night time behavior of the tank inhabitants.

Shooting continuously, even at intervals, for several days will likely drain batteries, necessitating battery changes, so plan for that.

I would probably start by trying to capture one day's illumination period, from tank lights on to tank lights off, and see how that goes. Then when you feel that is dialed in, start trying to add night time / lights off shooting if that's what you want.

02/05/2017, 02:29 PM
I've actually been thinking about trying something very similar. In my case, I was planning to capture one image per day. That should allow me to see changes/growth over time. My only concern was battery life. I love time-lapse shots, but I've never attempted them myself.

- Ivan

02/15/2017, 08:24 AM
I did a project like this a couple of years ago. I had a good sized zoa garden and time lapsed them at "first light" before they were open. Took a shot about every 30sec for about 4 hours. I can't recall how many total images there were, but it was a boat load. I edited the shots in LR to one image and then just copied the edits to the remaining images. I also removed the ramp feature of my lights as it would be an editing nightmare trying to correct the WB on so many shots. I stitched them together, added music and had a short video. I looked at my youtube channel but I've apparently removed it. It was my first time lapse, I used the canon software with built in intervalometer while tethered to the computer, it was a pain. I've since bought the remote shutter mentioned above with built in intervalometer.

02/15/2017, 03:07 PM
Sounds like a cool project, it'll be a challenge though with constantly changing lights. Might want to remove the programs for that time and run them constant, unless you want to see the different colors and intensities, in which case it'll be more simple.