Today I wanted to walk you through how you get started with simple time lapses. You don't have to have a big time lapse slider to get some cool content. Getting started with time lapses is actually pretty simple.

One of my first time lapses

To get started you will need a camera with an internal intervalometer or a remote with an intervalometer. An intervalometer is something that makes the camera take pictures at a certain interval. The other thing you will need to get started is a sturdy tripod so there is no movement over the course of your time lapse. 

That's pretty much all you need to get started. Now just find a scene where there will be good movement, whether it is clouds, people, cars, etc. To get the best results put your camera in manual so that the exposure doesn't change during the time lapse. Once you have the camera settings right it is time to program your intervalometer. Knowing what to set your intervalometer at will take some practice but I'll give you a few tips to keep in mind. 

  1. Video is typically played back at 24 or 30 frames per second. So if you take 300 pictures you will have a 10-13 second time lapse when you make it into a video. 10 seconds is plenty long for a clip. Most of the time when I use a time lapse in a video it is only for 5-7 seconds.
  2. If your subject is moving faster you will want to take the images at a shorter interval. For instance when shooting people moving I will shoot at an interval of about 2 seconds and if I am shooting clouds I will shoot at 3-4 second intervals. When capturing stars it is usually about 35 seconds between shots.

A good place to start is to set your intervalometer for 200 shots at 3 second intervals.

To post process the time lapse you will need to get all the images together. If you want to make edits to them do it as a batch edit in Lightroom or Photoshop so the same changes happen to each image. This will ensure your video will look smooth without any abrupt changes to exposure. To make it into a video you will need some type of video editor. I use Adobe Premiere Pro, but you can even use Quicktime Pro or the Gopro studio. Basically you just want to make each image one frame of the video.

I hope this gives you a good start in time lapses. Feel free to comment if you have any questions.

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