5 timelapse tips in 30 seconds

top 5 timelapse tips

If you are looking for 5 timelapse tips in 30 seconds then you're on the right page. In the video I kind of sped through everything because I felt like making a bit of a ridiculous video and I wanted to see what I could pull off. If you have no idea what I'm talking about then please have a look at the video below.

Here is the written version of these five timelapse tips.

Timelapse tip #1 – Get an ND filter

An ND filter – or Neutral Density filter – is a dark piece of glass that you put in front of your lens. Think of it like a pair of sunglasses for you camera. The goal here is to lengthen your shutter speed – aka dragging your shutter – to create longer exposures, resulting in smooth motion blur. In my experience, even cheap ND filters work really well. Check out the vlog I made about that ages ago (this vlog blew up and got me a lot of heat in the comments, it's quite funny, I recommend you have a look at how upset people get for very silly reasons)

 ICE ND1000 10 stop ND filter. This is the cheap ND filter I use in the video.

B+W 10 stop ND filter. This is a more expensive, higher quality ND filter.

Timelapse tip #2 – Which interval settings to use

These values are averages and can still change depending on your surroundings however they're a great place to start.

  • People and traffic: 1-2 seconds
  • Clouds and landscapes: 3-6 seconds
  • Sunset or sunrise: 6-10 seconds

Especially with people and traffic it is important to get some motion blur by dragging your shutter. You will get the smoothest results if your shutter speed equals half the interval time.

Timelapse tip #3 – Shoot in Manual mode and RAW

Make sure your camera is on Manual mode and that none of your settings (like white balance and iso) are on auto.

You want to shoot RAW photos as opposed to JPEG photos as RAW gives you much more latitude to work with in post production. You can change the white balance, recover dark shadows and bright highlights etc. A JPEG is a compressed photo, a RAW is the raw data that comes from the image sensor.

Timelapse tip #4 – Get a sturdy tripod

Make sure your tripod is sturdy. You can weigh it down or spread it's legs more to minimise vibrations and impact from the wind. If your shot does end up being shaky or bumpy then try applying the Warp Stabiliser effect in Adobe After Effects or Adobe Premiere Pro to remove the motion.

This is my main tripod and ballhead.

Timelapse tip #5 – Turn off your lens Image Stabilisation

If your lens (or camera) has image stabilisation make sure to turn it off before shooting. If left on the internal mechanism will look for motion when it's mounted on the tripod, resulting in shaky timelapse footage. Again, this can be fixed in post using the Warp Stabiliser.

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