How to Create Time Lapse Video

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Time-lapse videography is an ideal way to document the changing seasons, weather patterns (clouds and snow melting), space phenomena such as the moon rising and moving across the sky, animal life cycles (caterpillar life cycle or ants tunneling through an ant farm), or weather phenomena like lightning strikes or tornadoes.

Many digital cameras and smartphones come with a time-lapse setting. If yours doesn’t, there are several apps and programs that let you create these videos on your own. Total Time-Lapse Course

Time-lapse videos are an excellent way to capture motion and tell stories. They also add a unique touch to your photos, making them more captivating and unforgettable. However, capturing the right settings can be challenging; patience is key!

If you’re interested in creating time-lapse photos, there are numerous online courses that will teach you how to do it successfully. Total Time-Lapse Course is one of the best; it covers everything you need to know about this type of photography.

By studying time-lapse photography, you’ll become proficient at setting up your camera and tripod properly. Furthermore, you’ll discover how to utilize filters for added visual interest and impact in your videos.

Once you understand the basics, you can begin experimenting with time-lapse settings to see what works best for your individual situation. Take plenty of practice shots and adjust exposure, focus, and composition until you find the ideal combination.

Once you’ve mastered the fundamentals of shooting time-lapses, you can progress onto more advanced techniques like hyperlapses and day-to-night time-lapses. Plus, you’ll gain valuable editing techniques and software like Lightroom.

Using Filters for Unique Time-Lapses

Filters in time-lapse video editing are a great way to give your content an eye-catching touch. You can use them to create videos that appear to be different times of the day or simply enhance the subject’s appearance.

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Filters can add visual interest to your video by altering the tone of images. On bright days, using an ND filter reduces light entering your camera, allowing you to adjust shutter speeds more freely without overexposing images.

Another way to enhance your videos is by using tilt and shift lenses. These optical devices permit shooting from different angles and seeing the same subject from various perspectives.

Time-lapse videos with abstract effects can give your footage a distinctive, artistic appearance. They may also be effective in creating time-lapses that appear to have been captured at different times of day or night.

Another way to create unique time-lapses is by using a drone to capture aerial shots of your subject. A drone allows for multiple shots at once, making for more engaging content than what traditional cameras could capture.

The Best Scenes for Time-Lapse Videos

Time-lapse videos are an excellent way to capture the passage of time. They showcase changes in landscape, flower life cycles and more.

But they do require some skill to achieve the best results. These challenges are especially daunting for those attempting to capture changing seasons in photographs.

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At night, they can be especially challenging to photograph due to strong lights that make it difficult to capture a clear image.

However, if you can master this genre, your work will likely gain recognition quickly. You can learn techniques that can help you craft an eye-catching time-lapse video of your own!

Making a successful time-lapse depends on selecting the right scene. Ideal conditions for shooting time-lapses include an impressive sunset, soft lighting and objects that add movement to the photos.

For instance, you should select a location with clouds and traffic movements. Alternatively, you could also use soft lights to capture day to night transitions.

Calculate The Number of Frames for the Best Results

When creating a time-lapse video, it’s essential to know how to calculate the correct number of frames for optimal results. This straightforward process takes into account your camera’s frame rate, how long you want the video to last (in seconds), and the number of frames per clip.

For instance, if you want your time-lapse video to last 60 seconds with 100 frames, shoot at 30 fps. That way, each frame in the video will appear onscreen for 1/100th of a second.

Depending on the subject, you may require more or fewer frames for your time-lapse than for a standard shot. For instance, taking day-to-night photographs of cities or landscapes requires many more photos than simply photographing a storm coming in off the shoreline.

Furthermore, the interval between frames is critical. If it’s too short or long, your time-lapse will appear sluggish or abrupt. To get optimal results, use an intervalometer to set timed intervals correctly.

Shutter Speeds

Producing time-lapse videos necessitates an understanding of shutter speeds. These can range from extremely fast for fast-moving subjects, to very slow for long-term changes such as stars, clouds and people.

Shutter speed is an integral factor in time-lapse video production, and can make all the difference in your results. Longer exposures work best for low light conditions, such as shooting stars in the night sky or blurring fast-moving subjects to give them a stop-motion effect.

Shutter speeds that are shorter can create a more natural-looking clip with less motion blur, especially for people and animals that move quickly.

When shooting time-lapse videos, the amount of light necessary for successful capture varies depending on your subject. That is why testing the scene and finding an optimal vantage point before shooting is so essential; this way, you can ensure there’s enough illumination for optimal images without overexposing any frames.

Another essential step when creating time-lapse videos is using manual settings for focus, aperture and exposure length. Cameras with auto settings are more likely to shift focus points or introduce focus jumps in your final movie; so it’s best to lock all these settings on your camera before shooting begins.

Best Aperture Settings

Aperture settings are essential for taking high-quality time-lapse photos and videos. They allow you to control the depth of field in each image as well as how much light comes in. A smaller aperture (higher f number) produces sharper images with less bokeh, while a larger aperture (lower f number) lets in more light and creates images with greater depth of field.

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Aside from aperture, other factors to consider are shutter speed and ISO. These three settings form the ‘exposure triangle’ which works together to produce the best possible photographs.

Shutter speed is an important factor to consider when taking photos or recording video, as it affects how each frame will be captured and viewed in the final product. For sharpest results, shoot with a fast shutter speed (1/100 or faster) for optimal results.

On the contrary, a slower shutter speed (1/50 or slower) will capture moving subjects better and create an overall smoother-looking video. Although these options can be confusing, ultimately your best choice depends on your scene. For instance, night time movies featuring star trails would benefit from using a slow shutter speed for optimal capture.

The Intervalometer

Intervalometers are essential tools in time-lapse photography. They enable you to schedule a series of photos at specific intervals and can be beneficial when shooting long exposure or astrophotography (shooting star trails or stacking images).

Some cameras come equipped with intervalometer functions, though these tend to be limited in scope. Most often, these include a self-timer that delays shutter release for a brief interval.

For a more versatile solution, an external intervalometer may be your best bet. Although they tend to be pricier than camera-mounted devices, these give you greater control over the shots taken.

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Programming an external intervalometer requires you to decide how many frames the device should capture in a certain amount of time. This can be set in seconds, minutes or even hours.

Another setting you have control over is the interval length, which can be set in increments of 0.1 seconds. This feature comes in handy when shooting star trails or astrophotography, where accuracy and precision are paramount.

Some of these devices feature a music symbol that activates an audio signal to let you know what the device is doing. This feature makes them especially helpful for astrophotographers who shoot at night.


Ash has been into cameras and photography for over 40 years, with 10 of those years as a professional photographer. His passion is to constantly strive to create better images and to pass on his knowledge to other budding photographers.

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