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A Beginner’s Guide To Shooting Time-Lapse Videos

Time-lapse videos are a cinematographic technique in photography where photographers take a series of still images at regular intervals and rapidly play through the sequence. So, individual photos become a video because an illusion of high-speed is created.

Time-lapse photography manipulates time. From capturing cloudy skies to city traffic and waterfalls to everything in between, time-lapse photography is an excellent tool to showcase your creativity. 

If you already have clicked a few still images and want to create time lapse videos from separate photos, you can use apps like GlueMotion. Such apps are specifically created to help photographers create great-looking time-lapse videos, and thanks to automated de-flickering and image correction, the result is smooth as silk.

Amateurs not only use these applications, but even professional photographers use them to ease the stress when creating too many time-lapse videos. 

A Beginners Guide To Shooting Time Lapse Videos

However, if you want to learn how to shoot a time-lapse video from scratch, here’s a helpful guide.

Equipment Required For Time-Lapse Photography

  • Camera & tripod: While you can use a smartphone or any point-and-shoot camera, it is best to use a mirrorless or DSLR camera for time-lapse photography. If it has an in-camera intervalometer, you’ll need less equipment. Besides the camera, you need a tripod because you need the camera to stay perfectly still, so the emphasis is on the subject’s steady movement. 
  • Intervalometer: An intervalometer tells the camera to take pictures at specific intervals for a specific period. So, you don’t have to stand next to the camera to press the shutter manually. 
  • High-capacity memory card: You need to take several high-quality pictures back to back for creating perfect time-lapse videos. Also, you need to shoot in RAW format, which would demand a lot of space. That’s why you must remember to use high-capacity memory cards. 
  • ND filters: Neutral-density filters limit the amount of light entering the camera lens without impacting the color temperature. They offer more flexibility with shutter speed and enable you to click using slower shutter speeds but get the same amount of light.

Also Read: InVideo: Best Video Editor Tool For Bloggers

Required Camera Settings For Time-Lapse

Shooting in manual settings will get you the best results to create a time-lapse video. However, if the pictures are shot when the camera is set to automatic, your camera won’t adjust each shot or might overcompensate for light changes. 

Unless you are a professional photographer, shooting in manual mode might scare you. But perfecting this step is vital in getting the smoothest motion blur and right light for your time-lapse. 

Here, take a look at what you need to consider when shooting in manual. 

  • Shutter speed: 1/100 or faster shutter speed is ideal if you want your shots to look sharp or you’re trying to capture a moving subject. But if you are shooting fast-moving subjects in a busy area, it would be best to experiment with 1/50 or slower shutter speeds. A slow shutter speed will capture moving subjects while adding a motion blur. 
  • Aperture: Select an aperture that will provide enough light while keeping your subject in focus. You need to experiment to get the proper depth of field. 
  • ISO: The ISO setting depends on light. A low ISO is usually best for time-lapse photography because it will reduce graininess and photographic noise. If you are shooting in low-light conditions, you need a higher ISO. 
  • Speed: The time-lapse interval is thought of as FPS (number of frames per second). It is crucial to select the interval correctly. The rule of thumb is shorter intervals for fast movement, between 1 and 3 seconds. Slower movement can be shot at up to 30 seconds intervals. 
  • Focus: The camera and lens must be set to manual focus. If it is in auto mode, your camera will attempt to refocus on a new subject in between each shot. It might become problematic when shooting in a busy street or crowded place.

Besides, you need to decide on the location of your shoot and the subject. You must be patient and not try to hurry it up.

Getting pictures for creating the perfect time-lapse video takes time. Also, if you are an amateur, you might need to give yourself time to practice before you can master the art of creating amazing-looking time-lapse videos. The several apps available might speed up the process, but you still need to work on your photography skills. 

Also Read: How To Download VN Video Editor On PC?

Editing Your Time-Lapse Video

The editing process for a time-lapse varies depending on the shooting method. For instance, if you have shot your time-lapse for an extended period at an average frame rate, the editing process will require you to bring the clip into the timeline and increase the speed of the footage. But this method isn’t ideal as it may create jitters. 

It is best to stitch together a long series of photos at your desired frame rate. Then, you can use GlueMotion or Adobe Premiere to assemble time-lapse videos. 

So, you are ready to create your time-lapse videos. Take out your camera, set out to picturesque locations or busy areas, and show off your creativity.

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