Tips For Shooting Timelapse Photography
In this article, our friend Michael Shainblum shares his 5 Tips For Shooting Timelapse Photography. The purpose of Timelapse Photography is to speed up the evolution of a scene for a short video. This could be, how the stars move in the night sky or, a sunrise or sunset. It’s a series of images of the same subject taken with an interval between each exposure. The images are then stitched together to create a short video which shows what unfolds in quick time.
You can also use the process of timelapse photography to capture a perfect single exposure. Let’s imaging you’re at a location and you’ve found the perfect composition. We’re just waiting for the sun to set. Set your camera up for timelapse and let it start shooting. It will take multiple images, all with a different combination of light, cloud, shadows and colour. Simply flick through the images to find your best one to work with or a few to exposure blend.
Tips For Shooting Timelapse
There’s some really good, must follow advice from Michael here. Timelapse photography can be so much fun and a safe way to get the shot you want. These 5 simple tips really are the cornerstone if you want to shoot awesome timelapse photos. I’d suggest keeping a small checklist that you can pull out whenever your shooting timelapse to remind yourself of these 5 key points:
- Understanding your Interval 1:25
- Always Shoot in Raw 2:40
- Shoot a Slightly Longer Exposure 3:13
- Shoot in Manual 4:41
- Practice, Practice, Practice 6:01
Equipment You Might Need
If your camera doesn’t have a built-in mode or settings for timelapse you will need an Intervalometer. These are relatively cheap and will do all of the work for you. I have the Neewer NX-880 it’s a great little device.
ND filters are essential for increasing exposure times to help avoid the staccato effect and make your timelapse productions smoother.
High-speed memory cards. You’re going to be taking a lot of photos, potentially over a long period of time. Shooting in RAW will take a lot of space, and if your memory cards aren’t fast enough the images might not save correctly and you will lose some frames. Memory cards are so affordable nowadays, you need to look for Class 10 or above which can write data at incredible speeds, over 30mbps.
Bonus Tips for Time-lapse Photography
Shoot in Manual Mode. Shooting in manual mode will ensure consistency throughout your timelapse. The only exception to this is if there will be a dramatic change of light during your timelapse such as, the transition from night to day, where Aperture Priority is preferred. Still shoot in manual mode if you’re capturing a sunset but, slightly overexpose so that the sunset can fall into place, the opposite would apply if shooting a sunrise.
Try to match the speed of the scene with the intervals. As a general rule of thumb is, if you’re shooting a fast scene like moving traffic, the interval between shots should be short and fast. If the scene is slow, such as an icicle forming, the interval between shots should be very long and slow.
Extend your exposure time. For a smooth transition between exposures, we need to decrease the shutter speed ever so slightly. This can be done by adjusting your ISO, Aperture, or by fitting an ND filter. Unless you’re trying your hand a tilt-shift time-lapse where you might want a quick and jittery transition.
Big Ben Time-lapse by Christian Bodhi
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