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Time-lapse photography is a fascinating genre that allows you to see the slow changes that have happened over a period of time. Many nature and landscape photographers use this photography type. It is because this genre gives you the chance to feature a phenomenal transformation of the subject you are trying to photograph. For instance, you may want to witness how the sun sets, or the moon rises in the sky. You can also use time-lapse to see how a flower blooms or feature a busy city. Time-lapse photography does not only allow you to see breathtaking scenes. This genre also helps you in creating a great story. If you are new to time-lapse photography, it is vital to read some guides that will help in improving your skills.
Whether you are an amateur or a beginner, you must equip yourself with enough knowledge in photography. Remember that every genre requires a different skill set. In time-lapse photography, here are some practical tips that you can apply to improve your photography skills:
1. Bring the essential time-lapse gear. When heading to a different location to photograph a particular scene, remember to bring all the necessary equipment. First is a high-end camera that you will use to capture images. There are several types of cameras, from portable action cams to standard DSLRs. In time-lapse photography, the DSLR is ideal to use. This device is highly recommended because it can give you more quality results. Another piece of equipment to consider is a tripod. You need a stable shooting platform that is required for steady shooting.
Other than the camera and tripod, an intervalometer and ND filters should also be taken into consideration. An intervalometer is an automated camera trigger. It is a programmable device that you can use to photograph hundreds of images at precise intervals. ND filters stand for neutral density filters. This device reduces light intensity without changing the colour. With less light intensity, you can use slower shutter speed even in bright environments. On the other hand, slow shutter speed gives you the chance to photograph motion blur in moving objects.
2. Find the right framing. After arriving at a particular location where you will shoot a time-lapse, another thing to consider is framing. Find the best place where you will place your camera that offers the perfect scene and composition. To look for the best angle, you can perform some test shots and try to photograph the scenes. Once you have decided where you will set the camera system, you can now start shooting.
3. Increase battery life. Time-lapse photography requires a long duration to shoot sequences. It is why the batteries of your camera must have enough power. To increase the battery life, make sure to switch off the other camera functions that you will not use while shooting time-lapse.
4. Know the total duration for the time-lapse. Knowing how long your time-lapse will take is another thing to consider. It is an important variable that dictates what interval to use and how many frames will be utilized. On the other hand, the exposure and range will determine the total length of the shot if you are filming a scene without a beginning nor an end.
5. Set your shutter speed up to twice your frame rate. When shooting time-lapse, it is important to create a more natural look. You can do it by using the 180-degree rule. To do it, you have to set the shutter speed of your camera up to twice the frame rate. For instance, you have to set the shutter speed at 1/50 if you are shooting 25 frames per second. Using this shutter speed allows you to create a more natural look.
6. Shoot in RAW format. When shooting time-lapse, it is significant to shoot using the RAW format because it offers the highest resolution for images. It allows non-destructive tweaking as well as correcting in post-processing. For post-production, RAW images give you the freedom to crop and program the movement. It may include panning, tilting, or zooming the sequence in the post.
7. Use the correct memory card for the time-lapse scene. It is vital to utilize the appropriate memory card for a particular time-lapse project. It is because certain types of cameras require high-speed cards. Although the speed of the memory card doesn't matter in the field of time-lapse photography, you may need something that can record all visual information. The advantage of using faster cards is that they process faster, allowing you to move on to the next shot. On the other hand, slow-speed cards take time to record and write the information from your camera. It is evident when using the one-second interval.
8. Use the live view. If you have a good battery, then it is recommended to utilize the live view with this feature. The mirror in your camera system will always stand up. It means it will not hit when the shutter fires, avoiding the camera to move. The live view also allows you to visualize the shot in real-time.
9. Utilize slow shutter speed for a long exposure. It is possible to shoot time-lapse out of long exposures using slow shutter speed. This feature allows you to create a more fluid object. With prolonged exposures, the transition of the photographs become smoother. Besides, it also gives a low possibility of flickering.
Time-lapse photography allows you to feature a lot of fascinating scenes, from the beautiful sunrise to breathtaking sunsets. There's a lot of ways to be more creative in this field. Though it might take you some time to become an expert in this photography genre, you will learn many things as you undergo constant practice. With determination and continuous learning, you will become an expert in no time.