How to Shoot Day-to-Night Time-lapses Using Bulb Ramping

It goes without saying; a time-lapse can be difficult to shoot. A transitional time-lapse from day to night can be even more of a challenge and hassle. That is, unless you’re prepared with the right tools for the job.

That’s why photographer and timelapse connoisseur Joel Schat has come around with an extremely informative video walkthrough of creating a remarkable time-lapse with the assistance of a Promote Control.

The process involves using the Promote Control for ‘bulb ramping’. Upon choosing a composition and an appropriate aperture, the Promote will do the brunt of the work. There is setting up of the Promote unit involved, but what you get is phenomenal time-lapse imagery that will impress.

Bulb ramping with the Promote Control

Bulb ramping is the process of modifying exposure settings on a camera in order to maintain a desired exposure value while the camera is in Bulb mode. Put simply, bulb ramping overall improves the quality of the time-lapse footage by creating a smooth transition and minimizing flickering due to changing light – especially if you’re shooting your time lapse from day to night, or vice-versa. As such, bulb ramping effectively reduces post-production time.

The six-step tutorial along with some very helpful supplementary information is available in text form on Joel Schat’s website.

(via Reddit)

  • Mansgame

    This guy has talent. Day to Night timelapses have kicked my butt.

  • frank mckenna

    This looks great and his time lapses look great!

  • Mako Koiwai

    Got one of these coming in the mail. Makes for easy time lapse:

  • Oskar???

    Magic Lantern can do the same. And it’s free. Well, only on selected Canon cameras.

  • Ivor Wilson

    Nice device, but at over £400 for the base device + tripod attachment & bulb ramping sequence options, including budget shipping, or nearer £500 with any kind of express shipping, and assuming UK customs didn’t stop it in its tracks and charge me an extra £30 – £50 for their trouble…? Nah.

  • mickey


  • Tyler

    He mentions Magic Lantern as the first way to do this. It’s around 1:30 into the video.

  • Daniel Lowe

    Cheaper ($50) device that can ramp shutter speed, I’ll be reviewing this soon for iPhone and Android –

  • Daniel Lowe

    Magic Lantern sucks for bulb ramping for timelapse. You’ll have to de-flicker anyway. See Joe Capra’s tests with Magic Lantern.

  • Daniel Lowe

    Interesting, but it will have a cell-phone sized sensor, and records directly to video. Cool for hobby purposes, but I doubt it will deliver professional results, or good shots in low light.

  • Andy Laverghetta

    So, this just just telling how to use a device and that’s about it? I suppose this is nifty if you are wanting this effect for a video regarding the location, but are there any other applications?