Isn’t it amazing if you get to see an arena of sun rise to sun set in 30 seconds? Well, that’s a result of hyper-realistic compression of time, which will be termed as “Time-lapse”!
So we can define “Time-lapse” photography as a great way to record scenes that have slow state of change and turning those scenes into a video that plays back in high speed. One of the easiest ways to accomplish this is to place a camera and focus on something that slowly changes like, growing of plants, clouds, etc. and start taking of series of pictures for hours or sometimes even for days.
In this article, we are going to show you how to create your own Time-lapse videos. To make things easy, creation of Time-lapse video can be divided into 4 different sections. Keep these 4 points in your mind while creating a time-lapse video and you can make wonders.
# Understanding the basic rules or essentials
Basically, every one second of video consists of 25-30 frames per photos that can be measured with the unit frames per second(fps). If you watch a 2-minute video at 24 fps, that means it’s made up of 2880 photos (frames) animating at high speed. So to create Time-lapse effect, you basically reduce the interval for each shot and combine them into a 24-30 fps video.
# Choosing the right equipment to take pictures
- DSLR cameras
When compared to other cameras, DSLRs are the best choice to do Time-lapse photography. It has higher output quality and better control. Well, if you are a DSLR user, you probably know better.
Some of the best DSLR brands are Nikon, Canon, Sony, and Olympus.
- Point and Shoot cameras
These pocket-sized cameras are just amazing with lesser functions when compared to DSLRs. But that doesn’t mean that they can’t handle Time-lapse photography. If you don’t own a DSLR and would like to experiment with Time-lapse, then believe these cameras are probably the most reliable course of action.
Caution– Few point-and-shoot cameras do come with Time-lapse function. Never forget to check with your camera’s instruction manuals first.
You can even do it with an iPhone. Some of the best iPhone applications that allows you to do Time-lapse photography are iTimeLapse and Gorillacam
# Post-editing the Time-lapse scenes
You’ll be left with lots of pictures at the end of your photography depending on the length of your project. Sometimes you’ll have to take care of some essential things before proceeding to combine those pictures into a video. Those can be brightness, cropping, white balance, etc.
There are basically two ways to edit pictures…
- Using “Action” and “Automate” Functions in Photoshop
Drag one of the photo into Photoshop and practice the tweaks you want on it. Once you are satisfied with the results, create a Photoshop “Action” (Windows -> Actions) and redo the entire process again so the action is recorded.
Now comes the batch automate all files option. Navigate to File -> Automate -> Batch and instruct Photoshop which action to use, source of your images (folder), and source of your output (folder).
Then, Hit the OK button and Photoshop will start editing all photos according to the pre-set action. You can now sit back and wait until the entire process is over.
Using Lightroom function is very easy…
After importing your photo into Lightroom, you can start by editing of the photo in the Develop Mode. Once it’s done, select the photos (most probably all of them) you want to have the same effect and hit the Sync button. This will take all the affects you put on the first photo and apply them on all the photos you’ve selected.
Note: Hold the Control (Win) / Command (Mac) key with Sync button will turn it into Auto Sync.
# Merging the photos
This is one of the most exciting step. There are few applications that will guide you to combine photos into a movie. Some of the simplest and easiest apps are:
- Time-lapse Assembler: This is a simple freeware that lets you to merge your Time-lapse photo into video as well on Mac platform.
- Apple QuickTime Pro 7: To use this, go to File -> Open Image Sequence, locate the folder of your Time-lapse photos, select the first photo and hit openThis is for both Windows as well as Mac users.
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Hope this guide gave you complete insight about time-lapse videos and inspired you to create some interesting Time-lapse videos, and if you do, here are some ideas you can pick as your subject.
- Sunrise, sunset, or from sunrise to sunset
- Fruit rotting
- Flower blossoming
- Growth of plant
- Ice melting
- Clouds movement
- Stars movement (clear sky required)
- Movements of a busy city street
However, photography styles like time-lapse or slow motion are very exciting for both amateur and professional photographers. Hopefully, you are now inspired and equipped with the right knowledge to make your own stunning time-lapse!