Timelapse of a little Colorado supercell

This was our first stop last Saturday after flying into Denver to storm chase for a few days. We made our way to the southeast portions of the state and pulled off onto a dirt road 10 miles north of Springfield. Radar showed a small supercell with rotation heading northeast.

We must have hung out here for around 90 minutes. Gave me enough time to set up a timelapse and capture this supercell emerging from the gloom and racing across the horizon. When it finally pops out, you can really see the rotation and some intense updrafts happening even as it starts to die out at the end of the clip.

Some technical timelapse notes. This was 65 minutes of real time, 1300 images, 3 seconds apart.

One issue I always seem to run into is what is always my problem: Slowing down. When I storm chase, I tend to rush around, toss gear here and there, no worries for anything in an attempt to get the shot. And that leads to forgetting things. Whenever I timelapse, the one thing I fail to do is put white balance into a manual K mode. I tend to forget it and leave it on AWB. That can cause problems…mainly a bit of flicker and color variances.

That’s just a heads up to myself and anyone else wanting to learn this. Gotta remember…EVERYTHING in manual.

This is in 1080p, so enjoy full-screen goodness.

7 replies
  1. Kris Koeller
    Kris Koeller says:

    This is so great. Another way to battle flicker in timelapse is to leave the aperture wide open, or to slightly unseat the lens (that’s a harrowing exercise) to keep the aperture iris from moving. Love the result, though. I really miss these storms after growing up in Kansas.

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