Time-lapse & aerial services
Zhoushan, July 2019
Time-lapse & aerial services, ship construction, Zhoushan
Following a past project in Nantong, I was asked to film the final step in the scrubber installation to a ship. It consist of the slow lifting of the scrubber to the hosting vessel. This very delicate process could only be done by using time lapse as it takes about 30 minutes to complete. The scrubber is lifted from the dock to the boat with 2 large cranes moving simultaneously millimetres per millimetre. This slow movement allowed me to fly around the crane with a small drone. Overall, the aerial footage done in Zhoushan gave the gigantic scale of the ship construction process.
The challenge consisted on getting simultaneously time lapse & aerial video with a one man band only.
Time lapse for ship construction in Zhoushan.
As this time lapse was quite short with around 4 hours from setup to dismantle; I could run all photo camera on simple external batteries. I set up 4 angles to make sure I have the full process recorded
2 time lapse camera where on the pier and 2 others on the ship in construction itself. It was quite impressive to board such large vessel with all the work going around.
You can see the stairs to board the vessel on the left and the work area on the right, so about 800m under a very hot sunny day. If you add all the protective equipment, you have to value each meters saved in the time lapse setup. If you like large vessel project, I also did this LNG powered vessel video presentation later in September in Shanghai.
I used DSLR with extreme wide angle lens for the time lapse and one Sony FS7 using the 10-18mm wide photo lens. All camera where set in RAW with plenty of space on the memory card.
Moving from the pier to the construction ship takes abut 10 minutes. I preferred start the time lapse recording as soon as ready. It’s always hard to get precise lifting time as it involved a lot of different teams. I used the FS7 internal interval recording as well as the one provided by Sony DSLR.
Time lapse Camera setup and position.
For the Canon camera, I sync them with magic lantern software to keep the possible issue with the trigger cable getting disconnected. It’s construction ship with wind, workers and vibrations all along, so better ready than sorry.
I came with plenty of different clamp size to fit any possible situation. You don’t want your time laspe camera ending on the water and it’s quite hard for the worker to see it. So I also put some reflective yellow tape over the lens hood.
The last canon DSLR time lapse camera sets as a backup in a reverse angle to avoid sun flare. There was only one ship this day, so not so many location possible. You can see magic lantern hack running in the camera menu. I’m not sure why Canon still didn’t implement it on their camera directly.
All cameras were able to produce amazing RAW 5K output.
Aerial service in Zhoushan.
As soon as all the time lapse camera starts filming; I prepared my drone to follow the process from the air. I got lucky with a acceptable wind and no restrictions from China No flight Zone in this part of Zhoushan. The initial plan was to come with a larger Inspire 2 drone, but due to the limitation on transportation, I step back to a Mavic Pro 2. The overall result in a sunny day like this is still great and fit perfectly my client request. I was able to finish 3 flights overall with the load in mid air as requested.
I have the propellers guard installed in case of serious drifting or loss of control in such metallic environment. There are plenty of workers around using welding and lifting tools, safety is my main concern in such situation. As controller, the CrystalSky is the only valid option. Even with a bright sun, It was possible to get enough brightness to control the drone. Here is a photo frame grabbed from the drone aerial video in Zhoushan. The lifting is still in progress as you can see.
All footage was shot with D-Log to grad it in post later and get the best of this ship construction adventure. This is a the way the client use it on his website
Other video and photography services in Zhoushan.
This day was quite challenging with all the transportation involved. To go to this island, it was necessary to stop by Ningbo, cross with a first ferry to the company office. A short night with an early wake up to cross the last sea gap with another ferry and start scooting the construction ship at 6 am.
When all was done, I had to used the same way all the way back to Shanghai. As you can see in this picture, the area was quite hostile for any photography equipment with a lot of welding jobs spreading small metal dust all over.
This is part of the job and I like these challenge. Feel free to contact me if you like some videographer in Zhoushan area for time lapse & aerial service.