Triple Holy Grail

This is my first successful Triple Holy Grail time lapse. This is where ISO, shutter and aperture are adjusted as the light in the scene changes to keep the transition very smooth. We had an unusually colorful sunrise yesterday and almost everything clicked together nicely.

Behind the time lapse – Shot with Samsung S5

After a few failed attempts, I finally got qDSLRdashboard on my Kindle to play nice with my Sony a5000. The biggest stumbling block was providing enough time in the interval between shots, but there were a few others hurtles too.

To use qdslrdashboard with the Sony, you have to have the Sony Smart Remote Control app installed on the camera. The Remote Control app has it’s own settings, including image size, metering, etc., separate from the settings used when the camera is in non-wifi mode. If, for example, you change the image size to medium and 16:9 and then start the “Smart” Remote app, the image size and ratio will be changed to whatever they’re set to in the app. Ugh. There is no option to disable long exposure noise reduction in the “Smart” (it really isn’t that smart) Remote Control so for every exposure over 1 second the time is doubled. Plus it takes a second or two to save the image to the SD card. Sending the jpg from the camera to the Kindle, having qdslrdashboard analyze the image and send back settings changes takes another 3 seconds. If you set the longest shutter speed to 2 seconds then the minimum interval between shots should be 2 seconds for shutter, 2 seconds for noise reduction, 2 seconds for saving and 3 seconds for qdslrdashboard for a total of 9 seconds. On the Sony a5000 you can reduce the longest shutter to .8 second or shorter and get a 6 second interval. That’s the minimum I can get to work with this setup.

For the time lapse below I started at 2 seconds at f/4 and ISO 3200. qdslrdashboard in Auto Holy Grail mode first ramps down the ISO then the aperture and finally increases the shutter speed. The minimum aperture was set to f/11 and the minimum ISO was set to 100. The next time I try this I’m going to start at a smaller aperture and set the minimum aperture to f/16. This is 496 frames taken 10 seconds apart over about an hour and twenty minutes.

Click HD to see and hear the best version. Music is “Idle Days” by Alialujah Choir from


There was a sodium light over the path behind me that lit the rocks. One of the weird effects of the Holy Grail settings is that it keeps the sky exposure very constant, but the rocks faded from bright sodium orange to gray as the ambient light increased.

Because of the long interval, the inevitable duck only had to be manually removed from 6 frames. I left the fishing boat because it was too large to clone out, it’s dark and it was traveling slowly enough to have continuity in the finished video.

Inevitable Duck
Inevitable Duck