Photographing the Milky Way

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Rio Grand-Sized 10k Time-Lapse

By Jules Ebe on September 3rd 2013


We recently had a chance to speak with Joe Capra concerning his project. Take a look at how he integrated two full-frames and a medium format camera into a successful 10k time-lapse. Hint: creativity and cool toys were involved.

But first – take a look at the video.

Rio | Time-Lapse on a Grand Scale

Rio’s Tale

The assignment and gear:

This was a very interesting assignment for me. I was tasked with shooting not only 4K time-lapse footage for the client, but also 10K footage. About 50% of the footage was shot with a Canon 5D Mark III, but there are a few Canon 5D Mark II shots mixed in as well. These were my main cameras for the shoot, along with a variety of Canon L lenses.

[rewind: DSLR Video Bodies & Video Lens Guide]

The first major obstacle was:

How the heck am I going to shoot 10K time-lapse?


After some reseach I found that a few medium format digital cameras had enough resolution for me to shoot with. The camera I went with was the PhaseOne IQ180. This camera shoots an incredible 80 megapixel. Once I found my camera, the next major task was to figure out if I can effectively shoot time-lapse with it. The PhaseOne IQ180 has an intervelometer built in, but is a pain to use.

It was suggested to me that I try using a Pocketwizard to handle the time-lapse interval shooting. The Pocketwizard Plus III worked great for shooting time-lapse with the PhaseOne. The biggest issue I had with this setup was that the camera would suddenly shut off during some of my time-lapse shots. I don’t think the medium format cameras were really made to shoot this way. I am not sure what the actual issue was, but it ruined more than a few of my shots. Not good when the client is there with you and your camera is ruining shots.

How to handle water:


Another issue I ran into was shooting around the waterfalls at Iguazu Falls. I knew there would be plenty of water/mist flying around in the air that I needed something to keep water off the lens during the time lapses. A friend of mine who shoots around the waterfalls in Yosemite had recommended the SpinTec Rain Deflector. This awesome piece of gear houses a motor which spins a circular piece of glass mounted in front of the lens at 3000rpm. When water would splash onto the lens it would be immediately shot off the spinning glass element, providing me a perfectly clear lens to shoot through. You can take a Spray Bottle and spray water hard and fast directly at the Spin Deflector and the spinning glass will remain perfectly clear and try. The results are pretty amazing!

The final result:

I managed to work through the camera failures and walk away with some incredibly detailed, huge, 10K time-lapse shots of Rio. I initially thought storage of the footage would be a huge problem, but it turned out to be very manageable. I was able to fit about 2 10K time-lapse shots on a single 64gig memory card.

You can check out more work from this artist on his webpage:

So what do you think of the final time-lapse?We would love to hear your thoughts.

Until Next Time . . .

Stay Inspired ~ Jules

CREDITS: Photographs and Video by Joe Capra have been used with permission for SLR Lounge. Do not copy, modify or re-post this article or images without express permission from SLR Lounge and the artist.


is a Southern California based Conceptual Artist and Photographer. Her work has been featured in several print publications and selections can be seen in local gallery exhibitions. Connect with her on Facebook and Google+.

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Fred

    Cool project and all, but I would have liked to have actually seen the 4k or 10k version, is it downloadable somewhere? cause vimeo is only outputting 720p,w hich makes sense over the internet, but i’d like to playback the big boy version on my 1440p display :)

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  2. Adam

    Great shots, beautiful. Sounds like a fun project. I’m intrigued by the Rain Deflector however — I wonder how the it affects image sharpness? I’d think a motor connected to your lens that rotates a mass @3000rpm would hinder sharpness due to vibration, yes? Also, to exacerbate the problem, aren’t super hirez sensors more “sensitive” to vibration than lower-rez sensors (although I suppose it might also depend on pixel-size)? How did Joe achieve such “clarity”!

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  3. Patricia

    Cataratas do IguaƧu aside (it’s not in Rio), it’s really beautiful (though not as beautiful as the real thing).

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  4. Lanna

    I think it looks much more beautiful than actual Rio! (I live there) LOL

    Really loved it. Even with the bunch of work this must have given you, the result turned out amazing =)

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