How do I use the Auto Ramp to do a Holy Grail Timelapse?

Auto Exposure Ramped Timelapse: The Holy Grail


“Holy Grail” timelapse is the name for day-to-night or night-to-day timelapses. For timelapses like these, the exposure needs to be adjusted continuously as the lighting conditions slowly change. Since you can’t (or rather shouldn’t) touch the camera while shooting a timelapse and you want to minimize flickering, external hardware (often a computer with a certain program) is usually necessary to do this. The Unleashed revolutionizes this process as it’s extremely tiny and does the exposure ramping completely automatically for you. Below we’ll explain how to set this up.

1. Go to the AUTO RAMP screen by navigating through the menu of the app.

2. The top area of the screen shows a summary of the camera’s current settings. You can change them by tapping on that area to see the detailed camera settings.

3. In the center area you can set the interval i.e. in what frequency a photo should be taken, and the duration i.e. for how long should the timelapse be running.

4. With “Algorithm” you set how the settings adjustments should be calculated:

EV meter Smoothing 24:

Reads the exposure meter value before each photo, but smoothes it over several photos and then sets the values ​​of the camera (which must be in M ​​mode!) each in third f-stops after. In our experience, the camera’s light meter is very good, but not very consistent, especially in darker scenes. Smoothing the values ​​compensates for flickering in the timelapse, and setting in 1/3 fades produces a transition that’s as smooth as possible.

LRTimlapse.com Sunrise / Sunset (beta)

An algorithm developed by Gunther Wegner of LRTimelapse.com. Calculates a weighted average luminance value from the histogram of a photo. The algorithm is trying to keep this value constant and adjusts the camera in third f-stops when exceeding or falling below the limits.

LRT modified Sunrise / Sunset (beta)

A Foolography modified version of the algorithm developed by Gunther Wegner (LRTimelapse.com). With this algorithm, the histogram is normalized so that the values ​​do not distort when there are strong changes in brightness (e.g., a lamp is turned on).

Because of certain characteristics of the post-regulation you have to choose in advance if it should be a sunset or sunrise. With the EV-meter Smoothing 24h this is not necessary so you can create day-to-night-to-day or 24h timelapses.

The values ​​are changed in the following order:

Sunset or darker scenes: shutter speed, aperture, ISO. At sunrise it’s exactly the other way around.

5. “Day” and “Night” lets you set the minimum and maximum limits for shutter speed, aperture and ISO. The app’s recommended default values are shown in bold letters.

6. Tap “Adjust” to manually adjust exposure. This setting can still be changed while shooting. The Unleashed will then smoothly adjust the exposure over the next photos taken.

One of the best things about the Unleashed is that your phone doesn’t even need to stay connected while your timelapse is running. Once you setup an interval shot/timelapse, you can leave the app, go out of range, switch your phone off etc. and the Unleashed will continue taking photos as set in the app. The smarts are all built into the Unleashed. Once you’re back into range or reconnect, you will see the updated process of the timelapse in the Unleashed app.

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