An Itinerary for Capturing Timelapse Footage in Pittsburgh, PA





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Some shoots have weeks of planning while others have days or only hours. I came into work on a Wednesday and at 3PM Chad told me about a project we had which required a few shots from Pittsburgh, PA. One of the shots included a sunrise timelapse on a Friday, which means I needed to be in Pittsburgh Thursday. Here’s a video including some of the stuff I captured.

Anyway, in order to show what an itinerary would look like when capturing some timelapse footage, I wanted to put everything into a table. Here’s what my itinerary looked like for the production in Pittsburgh, PA:


Time Description
3:00 PM Get called in to the boss’s office. Go over project, what we have already done and what we need. Get a rough shot list started and gear list.
4:00 PM Get concrete shot list with times and estimated sun position. Have detailed gear list. Begin contacting friends in the area to hopefully get a Pittsburgh Ambassador.
5:00 PM Check in with Chad to make sure we are good to go. Have an outline for the next day of getting everything together. Let the finace know I will be in her city.
7:00 PM Pack lots of warm clothes, my own gear that I want and get $40 cash out of the bank (it is always a great idea to have cash in the city).


Time Description
12:00 PM Go over all the details and have a final shot list. Confirm that my point of contact (college buddy) is 100% a go for tomorrow. Verify where to get coffee.
2:00 PM Make last minute changes, scope out driving routes and all parking (knowing that this may all change again)
3:00 PM Get on the road and beat traffic (somewhat successful)
7:00 PM Get in Pittsburgh. Have dinner with the fiance. Set alarm for 6:00am and try to get some sleep.


Time Description
5:22 AM Try to eat something. Have the fiance pack food. Get to my location.
6:45 AM Miss a turn. Miss another turn. Stress that I will miss the sunset.
7:15 AM Get to Mt Washington in plenty of time. Scout best set up location. Find best location.
7:25 AM Get A camera on tripod, set settings and begin timelapse. Set up GoPro for timelapse. Set it and forget it. Set up B camera and see where other timelapses will be good.
7:52 AM Enjoy a cloudy sunrise and begin to think of plan B (no sun). Take iphone pictures of setup and landscape. Send to work, friends and family.
8:00 AM Friend is running late, no worries. Begin to wonder why I didn’t dress warmer and wishing I had thick socks on.
8:30 AM Realize sun isn’t coming out. Change point of focus to clouds.
9:00 AM Friend shows up. Hugs. No coffee. Take away the hugs.
9:30 AM Set up car for the car mounted shots. Wonder why my boss is letting me do this. Drove around the city and through Fort Pitt Tunnel.
12:00 PM Set up final timelapse. Scouted locations for lunch.
12:30 PM Wrapped. Realized I had only 6 miles left until empty. Found gas and made it home safely and with some good footage.

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