Timelapse photography is a technique used to show an event in a few photos. You can compare it with a motion video where the camera remains in one place. The only difference is that with photography, a photo is taken every few minutes, hours, or even days, and all these photos are played back one after the other in a timelapse. With this you get a video impression of an event. In this post, we’ll take a closer look at this topic and explain what you can do with it and what you need.
What Is Timelapse Photography Used For
“Why time-lapse photography, and not a proper motion video instead?” This is usually the comment that you would get when you talk about timelapse photography.
This is not surprising in itself, because photographing a timelapse has many similarities with video but still slightly different because you do not capture images continuously as seen in video. With time-lapse you determine which moment or time is important for your project.
What exactly is timelapse photography used for? There are a number of things it can be used for. For example, with this technique it is possible to record the course of a building that is being constructed. You can also photograph the movement and growth of a plant or stars with it. It can also be used to show the sunset, which normally lasts 2 hours, in a minute without it looking strange. In addition, it can also be used to record the weather of the whole year, including the differences of the 4 seasons or the people who move in a busy city. To record the two latter activities does require some preparation, but would be covered a bit more later in this post.
Many opportunities abound to be creative with in this branch of photography.
Equipments And Supplies
Some equipments would be needed to get started with timelapse photography such as a camera, tripod, and a digital timer remote. The tripod, and remote is to prevent the images from moving.
If you want to go deep into this branch of photography, you might decide to buy a slider, among other things.
In addition to the equipment, you will have to determine the duration you would want to spend recording the image.
Keep in mind that shooting with this technique requires a lot of patience, especially if you are in a location where it isn’t too conducive to take pictures. In such cases, you might not be able to shoot for days; probably just a time frame of 1 or 2 hours.
Create Timelapse; Choose The Correct Interval
The correct interval when shooting a timelapse is completely dependent on what you are photographing and the weather. For example, you may want to take a few seconds or a few minutes before taking a picture. It is better to shoot too many photos than too few, so it is recommended to choose a short interval. The images not needed can then be removed afterwards.
For nature timelapse photography it is good to look at the clouds, and observe how fast they move, then use a short interval of 2 to 3 seconds, then increase to a higher number of seconds if it seems too fast. At sunset you should an interval of 5 to 8 seconds and when shooting stars, 15 to 30 seconds is sufficient.
The Right Settings
After choosing the equipment and the interval, the next thing to do is to set the rest of the settings. In landscape photography, it is important that you use a large aperture like F11 to F18 . The large apeture increases the sharpness of the photo. You can set the shutter speed to what you chose above.
The next thing to do is to make sure the ISO is set as low as possible. If the picture comes out too dark, then you can increase the ISO or lower the apeture until the image has a good exposure again.
If you do choose to make video clips instead of photos, it is advisable that you do not record 4K videos, as these type of videos are always too large.
Creating A Timelapse Video Of The 4 Weather Seasons
Making a timelapse video of the 4 seasons is a fun challenge, and since the settings and precautions are slightly different, we will explain them separately here. First, you have to choose whether you want to leave your camera in one place for a whole year or not. Then you have to make a choice in how many days you want to place your camera in the same location and especially the choice of times of the day or whether you want to leave the camera for the entire day. Make sure that you mark the exact location of the tripod so that you can be sure that you are always at the same location. A small change in this can make a big difference. Of course it is also possible to add drone photography and other shots to make transitions here.
You can choose to take photos several days a month and post them one after the other, but it is also fine to record a timelapse all day long on a day when the season is clearly visible.
Accelerated Video vs Timelapse Photography
If you have been reading this post, this question must have crossed your mind at least once: video vs timelapse photography. Why do we choose the latter? There are several answers to this, but the main reason is that a video simply consumes too much memory and data. The files are always too large and you will have to replace your battery and SD card every time. But with timelapse photography, the files are not too large, and you can leave your camera for much longer without worrying about the battery.settingmera in such a way that a photo is taken every so often, this is almost not the case.
The disadvantage is that there may be a photo that failed because, for example, a bird flies just in front of your lens. This chance is minimal and you simply delete this file. This is usually not noticeable in the end result.
Cleaning The Lens And A Test Shot
To conclude this topic, we would like to give you one of the most important tips. Don’t forget to clean your lens, otherwise all the effort will be in vain. Often we are so in the moment, we get everything ready and then we don’t touch the camera anymore. This all makes sense because we don’t want to add motion to our timelapse. But, what if the exposure is not good or your lens is very dirty? When you leave your camera for a long time, it is important that you always take a test shot. Check whether all the settings are correct, check whether the photos are taken in the correct timing and clean your lens extra thoroughly.
Check out the end result of these photos and then turn it on for real work. This prevents you from waiting an hour or maybe even longer and then finding out that the photos have failed. And that would of course be a shame. Another tip to make your result as beautiful as possible is to use a lens hood or build something around your camera. Especially when it rains, you do not want drops of water or dust to get on your lens while shooting. By using a lens hood, umbrella or something else you prevent this and your photos are also successful in bad weather. If you apply these tips along with the ones mentioned earlier in this article, you will probably succeed in making a beautiful video. Have fun creating your own timelapse photography!