Blog, Landscapes, Tips

Having a go at time-lapse

A while a go I decided to have a stab a creating a time lapse video. Please turn your sound on to hear the music.

This video is only my second attempt so there are a couple of faults with it, the main one being the spot of sensor dust. Darn these Dslrs!

Creating a time lapse movie is a relatively straight forward process, the main thing you’ll need though is a lot of patience. First of all there will be a small amount of maths that you’ll need to calculate before you set out. First is the intended length of your movie, I would suggest anything between 30-60 seconds. This may not sound a lot but things will become a bit tedious if longer than this, unless it’s something pretty spectacular. Next you need to determine the length of the event you will be shooting, for example in this movie I decided I wanted to capture half hour before and after sunrise, so an hour in total. Lastly (and this is optional but a good guideline to stick to) movies tend to be shot at around 24-25 frames per second, so this is the amount of photos you’ll need to take for every second of movie; so for example if you wanted a 30 second movie you would calculate 24×30=720. 720 will be the number of shots needed to create your 30 sec movie. Now you need to determine at what intervals you’ll need to take each photo, which is as follows: 3600 seconds ( an hour in seconds that I want to capture) divided by 720 shots =5 So you’ll need to take one shot every five seconds.

So again as a list:

24 shots multiplied by length of movie in seconds =total number of shot needed

Convert duration of event into seconds (e.g 1hour=3600 seconds)

Divide duration of event by number of shots needed to give the interval at which each shot should be taken.

Now, there are a couple of ways in which you can do this. One is to buy an intervalometer, a gizmo that plugs into the cable release socket on your camera ( if you have one). This is great as you can just program this with your shots per second and let it get on with it, time to put up your camping chair and get the flask of tea out. Second is the hard way and the way I had to do it (which is probably one of the reasons why I’ve left it so long to attempt another), and that is to do it manually with a remote shutter and a stopwatch. This will be the thing that puts most people off as it is really tedious, but the results can be well worth it I can assure you.

How you set the camera up will depend on the situation and a little trial and error will be needed, however I would recommend switching to full manual, that includes the focus and choosing a white balance too rather that having it on auto, that way all of the shots will have a consistent look. No need to shoot RAW either or at max size, this will make the process longer in post and take up an enormous amount of hard drive space.  I would set the file size to small jpeg as even at this size your photos should still be large enough to make a HD movie at 1080p, and the smaller the file the more you can get on a single memory card. You don’t want to be swapping cards during a time lapse shoot.

Making the movie on the computer is not too difficult, you can use Quicktime pro or as I did using Windows Live movie maker or any number of other software out there. If using Windows Live Moviemaker, load in all of your images, highlight them all, then change the slide duration to 0.05 to give you a frame rate of around 24-25 seconds. Add sound, music captions as desired. I would recommend finding copyright free music to prevent any issues.

Hope you enjoyed my rather Heath Robinson attempt at time-lapse and hope my guide is half way understandable. If any one has more tips or suggestions, please leave a comment for others to see.

Thanks for stopping by.

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