Get the Best Time-Lapse with these Tips and Tools

Time-lapse videos have been used for years. Umpteen movies and vlogs use this technique to capture events over a long period of time. With the introduction of hyper-lapse, these videos can now be used on social media platforms too. These videos aren’t easy to make considering the amount of time it takes to achieve. To help you capture better time lapses, here are some expert tips on the subject:

Manual mode

The first step to a great time-lapse is to shoot in manual mode. You gain control over what the final image will look like. It also doesn’t allow any flickering that happens when the camera automatically adjusts the exposure in the middle of the shot.

Shutter speed is also important when doing a time-lapse. The usual, 180° shutter rule of film-making isn’t needed. It can still be used and will result in a smooth video by keeping the exposure time at half of the interval time.

The exception to the rule is that if you prefer sharper movement and more of a blur, do away with the 180° rule. When creating a star-scape, you don’t need to use this rule. Leaving the shutter open longer will allow you to capture trails.

Use a tripod

A sturdy tripod is required for a time-lapse. You need to leave your camera for extended periods of time and it can’t be done by hand.

Neutral Density Filters are needed to achieve the look you are going for, as well. When using a Neutral Density filter, you can use a longer shutter speed since the filter cuts down the light. You also gain more control with Graduated Neutral Density filters. A Graduated ND reduced light in certain parts of the scene to balance the picture.

Add some motion

Time-lapses are created to be in video format, they most definitely capture motion but you can also add some camera movement. You can successfully fake this if your images are of high resolution but the best results come with automated sliders. These look similar to what is used for filming.

The easiest movement you can incorporate into the time-lapse is panning. There are many tools available online to make this happen. A motorized slider gives better motion control. You can stop the motion midway to capture the best of the scene.

Basic camera settings

When choosing a setting for the time-lapse you are about to do, choose one that would have been best to photograph the scene in. There are some variables you need to consider. The scene you’re filming will determine the intervals you need.

A busy street requires a couple of seconds, a little longer and you can get a more blurred out image. When shooting slow-moving clouds, you require 30–40 seconds worth of intervals. The speed of what you are capturing affects the intervals your camera should be set to.

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