Wednesday, March 23, 2011

360° Time Lapse at the Hard Rock Hotel

So I planned a mini-vaca to visit some friends in San Diego.  I rolled up at the local Hard Rock Hotel in the Gaslamp District of San Diego, CA.  Ordered me up some Woodstock suite, complete with walkaround balcony for some good quality lapsin'.  I applied some discipline to myself on this trip, such as one camera bag, 2 lenses only, and no large tripod.  Also, don't think, just make.

< "Stay classy, San Diego..."

< The Gaslamp District of San Diego.  It used to be the red light district for the Navy liberty weekends, but has since been renovated into a thriving arts and shopping district.

Not knowing what I would be encountering at the hotel room, I came prepared with a full array of rigs, clamps, and adapters.  All this gear, and my 17" laptop, fit snuggly in my Urban Disguise 60 camera bag.

< When I reached the room's balcony, I was very pleased with the multiple angles I could shoot.   I had the San Diego convention Center to one side, and the San Diego skyline to the other.  I also had a really low angle view of the Gaslamp District's busy streets.

< Sunsets are always a gamble, and I was disappointed that the sun went down behind another hotel.  Made the best of it by focusing on the sunset reflections in the windows of the buildings.

< Night #1 exploded into a monsoon in the streets of San Diego.  This time lapse was shot with the 60D, 50mm lens, and lenskirt.  I'll post the video time lapse when I finish the longer piece edit.

< I used the lenskirt, which did a great job cutting down the window reflections.  I mounted to the gorillapod and set up on a hotel chair.  The floor to ceiling windows of the Hard Rock were excellent for maximizing my shooting angles.

The weather finally cleared up enough to venture out onto the balcony for some sunshine time lapses.  I was running my 60D & iPhone (iTimelapse app), and clicking away.  One horrible overlook was forgetting to bring an ipod.   My new laptop didn't have my iTunes, and my iphone was busy working on the time lapse.  I contemplated silence, while bathing myself with the San Diego sunshine.

< I mounted the Camalapse egg timer to the Delkin Fat Gecko dual suction mount, and shot the 360 degree time lapse of the San Diego skyline and the Hard Rock Hotel.  I also used a Contour camera mount, that I improvised together with some gaffer's tape to hold the iPhone 4 in place.  I would've used the iPhone shockmount, but the winds were too strong.  Quick note: my new GLIF mount didn't arrive in time for this trip, but it would've worked great here.  Also, I'll never travel without the Delkin.  Let me repeat that: I'll never travel without the Delkin Fat Gecko.  So versatile, and sturdy.

Overall: I really liked the Delkin Gecko mount with the 60D and iPhone 4.  The lenskirt for the 60D worked really well for its first time in the field.  The Manfrotto suction cup malfunctioned, and never worked, also knocking out the Bogen Magic Arm.  I stuck with the Delkin and Gorillapod, which turned out to be my champions of the trip.  The Pedco Ultraclamp was also a great mounting option (especially with the Bogen), but I didn't use it as much as the others.  Good times.

< Rain Jacuz for the dedicated.  "Spring Break, my ass..."

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