This post is a brief account covering how I made the photo above using only a 500 dollar camera and kit lens.
So last week, I had a very long day of shooting. It was to be followed by a very long morning featuring the same. In between, I had to wake up at the crack of dawn to leave a sunrise for a property tour i was shooting. In my exhausted state, I had neglected to bring a larger SD card. 32 GB Would not be enough to capture the transition from night to morning shooting raw, so reluctantly I opted for JPEG to make sure I had enough space on the card.
JPEG is not ideal since it limits how much you can push and pull the raw files in post. But I figured "what the hell, it'll be good enough for a timelapse, and I won't bother with too much processing."
Upon reviewing the images, I realized I had an amazing sunrise, and an opportunity to make a special shot for my portfolio even as I was still aware of the limitations of JPEGS. My workflow involves a lot of pushing and pulling of colors and exposure in Photoshop. Would these files break under such pressure?
Hardly! While I was careful to practice a little restraint, these files more than held up! Watch the video to see how I edited the image. It was actually pretty simple and I only used two different frames for blending.
I shot this image with a lot of things going against me. I used a 500 dollar camera and a kit lens ( my go-to set-up for simple time-lapses on lower end projects) shooting JPEG files with no in-camera alterations to color profiles, and STILL came away with an image I am more than happy with.
It just goes to show you that your time and money in photography is probably better spent working on your composition and developing your eye for visualization. Your imagination is a muscle that needs regular workouts. No amount of gear will compensate for lack of creativity.