How to Make Smooth Time Lapses - Trust Me Shops

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How to Make Smooth Time Lapses

How to Make Smooth Time Lapses

B&H explora - All posts
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Time lapses feel a lot like photography during capture stages and a lot like video during the editing process. Creating them is a common progression for photographers looking to dip their toes into video and motion because you can start making high-quality time lapses with your current still photo equipment. If you are starting to tackle time-lapse projects, applying some video tricks can help smooth out your final product.

The Absolute Basics

I’m hoping that by the time you make it to this article you already have a basic understanding of how to make a time lapse: recording a series of still images at set intervals and then compiling them into a single fast-moving video clip using editing software. At its core, it is that easy. Many cameras even have built-in modes either to shoot photos at intervals or create ready-to-watch videos, or both.

A time lapse is a series of images compiled into a single video that makes slow actions or events appear to move much more quickly. It compresses a long period of time into a short video clip.

Here are the key tips for shooting effective time lapses:

• Use tripods, sliders, and other support systems to secure the camera.

• Manual exposure is king.

• Plan, plan, and do some more planning.

Do the Math

Many of my good friends claim to have gotten into the arts—like photography—because they either disliked or were bad at math. I hate to break it to you, but digital imaging runs on math and you’ll need to do a bit more to master time lapses. You’ll want to figure out how many photos you need to take to get the clip length you want.

The most crucial part of this calculation is the frame rate. This means the final frame rate of your exported video, once all is said and done. This is how many frames per second at which the video is intended to play, commonly referred to in figures such as 24p, 30p, and 60p (25p and 50p for our PAL friends). Those numbers indicate how many frames are being played for each second of footage. These days practically anything will work but, for a film production/cinematic look, you’ll want to go with 24p—and for TV you’ll want 30p.

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