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10 Timelapse Photography Tips Every Photographer Should Know

10 Timelapse Photography Tips Every Photographer Should Know

Are you looking to create the perfect timelapse photos or videos for a particular project? Do you want to find out how you can learn timelapse photography like a pro even if you are just a newbie in this field?

To help you learn more tricks in timelapse photography, and improve your skills and creativity, check out the tips below.

What is Timelapse Photography?

Before moving to the tips, I want to give you a little background of timelapse photography. This method has gained popularity in recent years. This technique is used to capture the movement of the starry night sky, a setting sun, and the growth of a flower. Usually, timelapse photography is used in films, title sequences, and commercials.

This method shows movement or action in a particular setting within a period of time. The result is a video of the captured actions within a long-time period but played in fast motion to show the passing of time. To achieve the desired result, the photographer needs to take many shots at intervals that are later combined to create the sequence.

Tips on How to do Timelapse Photography

Here are some of the important tips that you can follow to come up with the highest quality timelapse video:

1. Plan the shoot ahead.

Before going for the shoot, check all of the necessary elements needed to capture the perfect images of your subject. For instance, if your subject is the sunset, you need to choose the ideal date to do it, considering the weather, tides, sunset schedule, and other factors. You also need to plan your location and the equipment to be used.

2. Be ready with your things-to-bring.

Shooting timelapse photos will require you to spend many hours in one location. For this reason, you need to be aware of the necessary things that you should bring with you—aside from the photography tools. An example would be your fully-charged phone, especially if the shoot is to be done in a remote place. You should also bring enough food, water, and cash.

3. Use a newer camera system.

Timelapse photography uses digital cameras because there is a need to take many —usually hundreds — of images. You can use any DSLR, but older camera systems are of lower quality than the newest ones. For this reason, it is advisable that you use the highest quality camera that you have, like a full-frame DSLR.

10 Timelapse Photography Tips Every Photographer Should Know

4. Use advanced camera triggers.

One of the best camera triggers in the market, MIOPS Smart+ Camera Trigger offers not only basic Timelapse mode but also advanced Timelapse mode called Timewarp. This feature lets you specify the interval time anywhere between one second and one hour, as well as how many images to capture, giving you more control and flexibility to shoot amazing timelapse sequences. This gadget also gives you the ability to program your timelapse photos for days or even months!

Another great gadget for timelapse photography is the MIOPS RemotePlus Trigger. With a smartphone application, the trigger controls the camera remotely. With its timelapse mode, you can set the number of frames, interval, and exposure values. This smartphone-controlled high-speed camera trigger gives you the ability to take hundreds of pictures automatically. And by combining these images, you can already produce stunning timelapse videos!

5. Bring with you a strong but lightweight tripod.

The tripod is one of the important tools you need in timelapse photography since your camera needs to be steady and undisturbed for a long time. For this reason, you need to use a rock-solid tripod. However, it should be light enough to be easily carried anywhere, especially if getting to your location is quite challenging.

6. Choose a powerful high-speed memory card.

If your shot requires hundreds of images in a short time, you need high-speed memory cards to record and save all your images. Your memory card’s speed matters in timelapse photography. The slower your card’s speed, the longer it takes for the image to be recorded to the card. If the time to record your image to the card is longer than the interval between shots, your camera will not be able to keep up with the timelapse settings, ruining your timelapse.

7. Understand your camera’s settings.

You need to understand your camera’s different shooting modes – M, B, Av/A, and Tv/T. These modes play an important role in your timelapse photography. Among these, the M (Manual) is the recommended setting for timelapse photography because it allows you to control your camera’s shutter speed and aperture. You also need to understand the exposure triangle, which consists of how your camera’s ISO, Aperture, and Shutter Speed are related and influence each other.

8. Set to manual mode.

Timelapse photography requires everything on your DSLR to be constant during the picture sequence, therefore set all of your camera settings to manual mode – that is, set your White Balance, Aperture, ISO, and the Shutter Speed manually. The focus should also be changed to Manual focus from the Auto Focus.

9. Use Live View.

If you use a DSLR (as opposed to a mirrorless camera), you can also use your camera’s Live View feature if your camera has a long-lasting battery. This will keep the mirror up and prevent the camera from shaking when the shutter fires. With Live View, you can also see the progress of the shots in real-time. Whether you use a DLSR or mirrorless camera, it’s also a good idea to activate the histogram to maintain proper exposure settings.

10. Keep practicing.

It takes many tries to perfect the timelapse technique. The more you practice, the better you'll become at understanding how each camera setting affects the final sequence, and more importantly, which combination of settings gives you the best results. You can also ask a pro to mentor you.

Learn more about timelapse photography

Timelapse photography requires patience, mainly because you need to be attentive to the smallest shooting details. You need to calculate the number of frames needed within a specific period to create movement, and you need to consider the interval or lapse between each frame. You also have to find the right camera angle to make sure you’ll creatively capture your subject’s movements. 

To perfect this technique, never stop learning about the process, the best strategies, the tools, and the appropriate technology. Find out more about timelapse photography by reading more photography tips, tricks, and articles in our blog.

Related Article: How to Start with Time Lapse Photography?

10 Timelapse Photography Tips Every Photographer Should Know