How to shoot time-lapse videos Time-lapse videography secrets and techniques


Time-lapse videos are a great way to portray how a subject changes with the passage of time. It’s not surprising why time-lapse videos can be so captivating. Not all video forms can capture the beauty of time itself.

The techniques of time-lapse videography are quite simple, even for beginners. So not only are they fun to watch, they can be really fun to produce. We’re going to show you how to easily make a time-lapse video of your own. 


What is time-lapse videography?

Time-lapse photography is a visual art form where a series of still images of the same frame are captured at regular intervals over a period of time. These stills are then played through rapidly to produce a video. 


A time-lapse video serves the purpose of showing something that happens over a stretched period of time without forcing the viewer to sit through hours of footage. Nobody has the time to watch plants grow over days or even witness the movement of the stars. This is where time-lapse can be a versatile tool. 



Time-lapse on smartphones

A lot of smartphones have a time-lapse feature built-in. Simply open your camera and choose the ‘time-lapse’ feature and place your phone in a stable location where it won’t move. Once you’re done recording, the video will be compressed to playback faster. So easy, isn’t it?


Time-lapse on a camera

Time-lapse videos on a smartphone may be a breeze but when shooting on a digital camera, things can be a bit more complicated. Our step-by-step guide should help simplify things. 


Step 1: Choose your subject

Choose a subject that makes sense to shoot over a period of time. Consider the concept of changing time when it comes to determining composition.


Step 2: Secure your camera

Use a tripod to ensure that your camera does not move while capturing the images. Even a slight movement in positions will affect the aesthetics of the video. 


Time-lapse videos


Step 3: Use an intervalometer

Some cameras have intervalometers in-built, but for those that don’t, make sure you attach one so that you can set an interval period. The setting depends on how long your entire event lasts. 


Step 4: Set to manual exposure

Make sure your camera is set to manual exposure so that it doesn’t change in every image. Also, check your exposure to make sure there are no blown highlights.


Step 5: Use a slow shutter speed

Using a slow shutter speed can give your video a blurred- motion effect or the video will end up looking like lots of sharp cuts. 


Step 6: Have a trial run

Take a test shot to make sure you’re satisfied with the exposure and focus settings. Adjust the settings to make sure you’re happy with what you’re shooting. 


Step 7: Start clicking

Once you’re satisfied with the settings, start your interval setting and leave the camera alone to do its magic. 


Step 8: Post-production

Once the shoot is completed, import the individual stills to your editing software and stitch them together to create a finished time-lapse video.


Once you’re done with editing you’ve got yourself a high-quality time-lapse video to share with the world. Even as a beginner, you can explore a range of ideas for time-lapse videos that are too complex for regular video execution. 

As a photographer, time-lapse allows you to add an element of motion to your stills which creates a world of opportunities. With our step-by-step guide on creating time-lapse videos, you’ll have a better grip on it in no time. 


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