How to shoot time lapse photography

Time-lapse movies are easy to shoot and the outcomes are spectacular, however how do you get began?

How to shoot time lapse photography

Time-lapse images is the artwork of taking single photos and mixing them to create a video that exhibits the motion of the setting round you.

This could possibly be the motion of clouds, stars and even the hustle and bustle of a busy metropolis. The outcomes can present how a scene can change dramatically over time, maybe between various kinds of climate or from one season to the subsequent. I discover that time-lapse images can inform a distinct story in regards to the landscapes round us {that a} single picture might not be capable to inform.

Making movies from stills

To grasp how time-lapse images works we have to perceive how movies are made.

On the earth of cinema and tv, after we see movement, what we’re truly seeing is single photos proven one after one other at a sure body price. Usually, this body price is anyplace between 24-30 frames per second, so if we watch 10 seconds of footage, what we’re truly seeing is 240-300 single photos being proven in a short time to create movement.

Now, if we apply the identical mind-set to images, all we now have to do is take a sure variety of photos, one after the opposite, over a time frame. When performed at, say, 25 frames per second, we may have simply created a time-lapse video.

When planning your shoot you’ll want to think about the motion of the topic earlier than anything.

Are you going to see a lot of a distinction over time or will all the things keep the identical? Planning your shot and selecting a topic in a scene that adjustments over time will make for a extra attention-grabbing end result. This could possibly be something just like the solar setting, visitors transferring in a metropolis or a change in climate.

Do not forget that photographic guidelines nonetheless apply to time-lapse images, so ensure you don’t overlook composition. Take into account framing your shot utilizing the rule of thirds and attempt to search for attention-grabbing main strains – and at all times be sure that there are not any distracting components in your shot.

You might want to plan your shoot similar to you’ll for any stills images shoot. When you’ve settled in your location, verify the climate and make a remark of when the solar units and rises. I exploit an iPhone app referred to as Picture Tablets, which exhibits me the trail of the solar and in addition the place the Milky Means will likely be through the night time. I’ll at all times know in my head the shot that I’m after earlier than I attain the situation, and this permits me to focus on the shot as an alternative of operating round not figuring out what to shoot. When taking pictures a time-lapse video, the photographs can take a very long time to make as a result of variety of photos wanted, so planning is essential should you’re to get your photographs you want within the restricted time you might have.


DSLR or CSC digicam

Any digicam will do so long as it might probably shoot in Guide mode.


Any lens will likely be wonderful, nevertheless it actually is dependent upon what you’re taking pictures. I are likely to work with lenses from 14mm to 200mm.


What you need is a powerful tripod that isn’t going to blow away.


You want an intervalometer in order that your digicam can take photographs constantly with out you touching it. Many cameras now have these constructed into them.

Establishing the shot

When organising your shot there are a variety of issues to recollect so that you simply don’t have a ruined shoot.

First, you’ll want to think about how lengthy you need the digicam to be operating for. Relying on the body price of your last video, at all times keep in mind that 24-25 photographs equates to a single second of video. So, if you would like a 20-second video, you will must take round 500 photos.

You additionally want to consider the interval between every body, which is the hole between each shot taken. I decide the interval time primarily based on how shortly topics are transferring within the scene. If I’m photographing fast-moving clouds, for instance, I’ll often have an interval of round 2-Three seconds. If I am photographing the night time sky, nonetheless, it could possibly be round 30 seconds.

It is actually as much as you, however by means of experimentation it’s best to be capable to perceive what works greatest for a specific scene or topic. I typically have an interval of anyplace between 2-30 seconds relying on what I’m taking pictures.

Click on under to see find out how to shoot and edit your time-lapse photos.

How one can shoot a time-lapse video: Step-by-step information

This is a step-by-step information of find out how to shoot time-lapse photos.

Step 1
Put your digicam on a safe tripod and lock all the things down. The digicam shouldn’t transfer in any respect whereas it’s taking photos until you are utilizing a motorized slider.

Step 2
Connect an intervalometer to your digicam (some cameras have an intervalometer constructed into them) and dial in your interval settings. The interval may be no matter you need and may on the scene and what lens you’re utilizing. I are likely to set it between 1 and 5 seconds.

Step 3
Put your digicam in Guide mode as you don’t need it to guage the publicity for you. If you happen to shot in Aperture Precedence mode there’s a excessive danger there will likely be flickering in your video.

Step 4
Verify your publicity and ensure there are not any blown highlights. Additionally be sure that to manually focus the lens to verify the ultimate picture will likely be sharp.

Step 5
If you happen to’re utilizing a DSLR, be sure that to cowl the viewfinder as stray gentle leaking by means of might change the publicity between frames (and would end in flickering).

Step 6
Take a check shot to see should you’re 100% proud of publicity, composition and focus.

Step 7
Take into consideration what number of photographs you need to take. Within the UK the usual body price is 25fps, so to get 10 seconds of footage you’ll need to take 250 photos. I are likely to take round 400-600 as this provides me extra room for enhancing.

Step 8
When you’re pleased, click on ‘Begin’ on the intervalometer (or the equal possibility in your digicam) and depart it properly alone at some point of the photographs.

High ideas

  • Shoot in Uncooked as this provides you with a picture with a bigger dynamic vary and extra prospects when enhancing.

Grasp the artwork of timelapse images with this step-by-step video tutorial. Whether or not you’re a budding filmmaker or a eager fanatic on the lookout for new methods to make your movies extra dynamic, that is all the things you’ll want to learn about taking pictures timelapse motion pictures.

What Precisely is a Timelapse?

A timelapse film is actually a collection of images which have been stitched collectively to create a video the place time seems to go extra shortly. Timelapses could also be made up of a whole lot and even 1000’s of particular person photos—the extra photographs there are within the sequence, the longer the timelapse video will likely be.

The ‘When and Why’ of Timelapses

‘Regular’ video footage is usually created by taking pictures at 24 frames per second (or 24 fps), which performs again in a means that resembles what we usually see in real-time with our personal eyes. With timelapse movies nonetheless, we are able to manipulate the passing of time by taking pictures every body at a a lot slower frequency, akin to one picture each few seconds, minutes and even hours. After we put these photographs collectively and play the footage again at regular pace, it seems as if time is ‘lapsing’ a lot sooner.

This enables us to seize occasions that often take hours, days, weeks and even months and play them again in mere seconds or minutes, as if we now have pressed fast-forward on actuality itself.

Examples of timelapse movies could possibly be a flower that seems to blossom in a matter of seconds as an alternative of an entire day. Or a dramatic sundown that appears to start out and end in a single minute as an alternative of an entire night.

“There are not any limits to the methods through which you need to use timelapse sequences, making this method a useful instrument for inventive visible storytellers.”

How one can Set Up Your Digital camera to Shoot in Timelapse Film Mode

1. Change your digicam to Timelapse Film mode by hitting the Menu button and and discovering Timelapse Film mode within the crimson menu.

2. Hit the Data button while you’re within the Timelapse Film mode menu to entry the settings in your Interval time and Variety of Pictures.

3. Choose an Interval quantity to find out the frequency that you really want your digicam to take every shot, e.g. as soon as each second or minute. Your interval instances will fluctuate relying in your topic. For slower transferring topics, akin to drifting clouds or blossoming flowers, you’ll need extra time between photographs (e.g. one shot each 20 or 30 seconds). For sooner transferring topics, akin to fast paced visitors and busy cityscapes, you’ll need a shorter interval (e.g. one shot each 2 or Three seconds).

4. Dial in your No. of Pictures to inform your digicam what number of photographs you prefer to in whole. Primarily based on the Interval quantity and No. of Pictures you dial in, your digicam will then routinely let you know how a lot footage you’ll find yourself with and the way lengthy you’ll need to shoot to be able to get it.

There are not any exhausting and quick guidelines and every scene or challenge will name for various settings. Nevertheless, as a basic rule of thumb, it’s price remembering that almost all on-line content material performs at round 24 or 25 frames per second (fps), so that you’ll want round 25 photos for each second of video footage.

Use the next numbers as a tough reference in your shot quantity and last video size:

• 750 photographs = 30 seconds of timelapse footage
• 1,500 photographs = 1 minute of timelapse footage
• 4,500 photographs = Three minutes of timelapse footage

5. Compose your shot and hit the shutter button. When taking pictures timelapses, it’s advisable to position your digicam on a tripod to keep up your composition at some point of the shoot. When you’re pleased together with your settings and composition, it’s time to hit the shutter button and let your digicam work its magic.

Really helpful Digital camera Gear and Gear for Capturing Timelapse Movies

Digital camera – Many Canon DSLR and Mirrorless cameras have a built-in Timelapse Film mode. Nevertheless, in case your digicam doesn’t have a the operate built-in then you may nonetheless create a timelapse by plugging an exterior intervalometer into your digicam to make use of as a distant shutter launch and modify your settings.

Tripod – Utilizing a sturdy tripod will guarantee your digicam and composition stays fixed for every shot. That is unimaginable to do when taking pictures a whole lot and even 1000’s of handheld photographs.

Lenses – A large-angle lens, such because the EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM, will help you seize extra motion in bigger scenes akin to cityscapes. To report the tiny actions of a blossoming flower, it’s possible you’ll choose to make use of a macro lens to rise up shut. Prime lenses with massive apertures, such because the EF 35mm f1.4L II, will also be advantageous when working in low gentle circumstances like sunrises and sunsets, or when taking pictures the night time’s sky.

Fast Timelapse Ideas

Use Slower Shutter Speeds – A slower shutter pace akin to 1/50 or 1/60 provides you with smoother timelapses and make it easier to seize movement in a extra fluid means.

Be Affected person – To create a brief 30-second timelapse sequence you would want to take roughly 720 photos, which might take nearly an hour to report at an interval setting of 1 shot each 5 seconds. Hold this in thoughts and remember to take heat garments, a flask of espresso and one thing to maintain you entertained when you wait in your timelapse to finish.

Monitor Your Your Battery Energy – Timelapses take considerably longer to create than ‘regular’ movies, so it’s essential to make sure your digicam has sufficient battery energy to final the period of your shoot.

Hold an Eye on Your ‘Card-Time Left’ Quantity – In your digicam’s Timelapse Film mode menu it is possible for you to to see a ‘Card-Time Left’ quantity, which exhibits how a lot house your reminiscence card has when it comes to time. That is essential to watch as you don’t need to arrange an hour-long timelapse shoot solely to seek out your reminiscence card runs out of house midway by means of.

Shoot in Guide Mode – Capturing in computerized or semi-automatic modes (akin to aperture precedence or shutter pace precedence) may help pace issues up once you’re beginning out. Nevertheless, even the tiniest of changes to your publicity once you’re taking pictures a whole lot of even 1000’s of frames may end up in flicker when enjoying again your timelapses. By taking pictures in Guide mode you may dial within the excellent setting and preserve it all through the sequence, eliminating flicker within the course of.

How to shoot time lapse photography

Time Lapse movies permit a moviemaker to change actuality in a enjoyable and artistic means. Time Lapse signifies that you shoot a single body of video at a sure time interval that you simply select, akin to one body per second or one body per minute. Then, once you play it again, it seems such as you’ve sped up time in order that occasions go by sooner.

There are a few methods to shoot Time Lapse with choose Nikon DSLRs.

One is to make use of the digicam’s Time Lapse Images operate, which can create a silent film on the specs you might have set within the Film Settings.

Fast Ideas

Just remember to’re utilizing a strong tripod in order that the digicam doesn’t transfer whereas taking pictures.

Manually modify the publicity settings and manually set the main focus in order that nothing adjustments from shot to shot.

Utilizing the Time Lapse Images Setting

Navigate to the Time Lapse Images setting, the place you first select the interval, the speed at which you need the digicam to report every particular person body. You’ll be able to choose any interval from 1 body per second all the way in which as much as 1 body each 10 minutes.

Subsequent, set the taking pictures time, how lengthy you need the digicam to routinely shoot particular person frames. This may be set for just some minutes, or a number of hours.

If you happen to do not need to do the maths, simply have a look at the data display, which lets you understand how lengthy the video will likely be.

Press OK to get it began, and the digicam will routinely shoot away for the required time.

Utilizing the Interval Timer

If you wish to do an interval longer than 10 minutes each second, use the Interval Time Capturing setting. As a substitute of ending up with a completed film proper out of the digicam, the Interval Time Capturing setting will take a collection of nonetheless photos, which have to be mixed utilizing optionally available third social gathering software program to create a Time Lapse film.

The benefit right here is that the interval may be set for something from 1 body each second, all the way in which as much as 1 body practically each 24 hours. And as an alternative of setting a taking pictures time, you select the quantity of whole frames you need shot and the digicam will proceed taking pictures as much as that quantity. That is excellent for lengthy period Time Lapse motion pictures shot over many hours and even days, so long as you’ve thought-about the facility necessities and safety of your digicam in these lengthy Time Lapse set-ups.

A advantage of utilizing the Interval Timer is that since you’re capturing very high-resolution nonetheless photos, you may create Time Lapse motion pictures which might be 4K decision or larger. And should you’re working in Full HD Video, you can too make the most of the upper decision photos by utilizing optionally available third social gathering software program so as to add movement akin to pans and zooms to your last Time Lapse film.

Rolling clouds, day turning into night time, or a flower blossoming within the spring: no matter your topic, this is find out how to inform the entire story with time-lapse.

How one can shoot time-lapse motion pictures at house

Time-lapse Film mode makes it simpler than ever to disclose a hidden world on the transfer. The following tips will make it easier to to get the perfect outcomes.

5 high ideas for taking pictures time-lapse landscapes

Convey landscapes to life with these high ideas for time-lapse images.

How to shoot time lapse photography

Time-lapse images ideas

Undoubtedly you’ll have seen some beautiful time-lapse movies of the Milky Means rising within the night time sky or visitors dashing by means of a metropolis scene. On this brief video and information you’ll learn to get began with time-lapse images.

Really helpful merchandise and bundles

EOS 250D

The world’s lightest DSLR with movable display*, that includes Canon DIGIC 8, 4K film and Artistic Help.

How to shoot time lapse photography

EOS M50 Mark II

Create great-quality content material in your viewers and add your individual inventive aptitude – whether or not it’s photographs, movies or reside stream

EOS M6 Mark II

A transportable, highly effective mirrorless digicam with 32.5 megapixel decision and as much as 14fps steady taking pictures.

How to shoot time lapse photography

EF-M 11-22mm f/4-5.6 IS STM

Extremely-wide angle zoom lens with Picture Stabilizer and STM, nice for stills and flicks of landscapes.


A small, light-weight and intuitive full-frame mirrorless digicam designed for journey and on a regular basis images.

Canon RF 24-105mm F4-7.1 IS STM

The best on a regular basis lens for full body mirrorless lovers. Simple to make use of, the RF 24-105mm F4-7.1 IS STM is gentle, compact and able to take your images to the subsequent degree.

How to shoot time lapse photography


A full-featured DSLR that takes you nearer, enables you to shoot sooner and seize excellent 32.5 megapixel photos.

How to shoot time lapse photography

EOS 6D Mark II

Whether or not you need to shoot extra formidable tasks, otherwise you’re turning skilled together with your images, the EOS 6D Mark II provides you what you’ll want to take these thrilling subsequent steps.

EF-S 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 IS STM

An inexpensive ultra-wide STM zoom lens with Picture Stabilizer, very best for landscapes, journey and flicks.

Canon Picture Companion app

With personalised content material, challenges and inspiration to information you alongside your images journey, our Picture Companion app is the right companion for any visible storyteller.

You may additionally be thinking about.

How to shoot time lapse photography

Black & white images methods

Ideas that can assist you benefit from the timeless sense of fashion that black and white images brings.

How to shoot time lapse photography

Images composition methods

Uncover how excellent composition can rework a mean shot right into a masterpiece.

How to shoot time lapse photography

Macro images

Our ideas and methods for close-up images will take your macro images expertise to the subsequent degree.


Need to begin your individual vlog? Uncover professional ideas and methods and learn to get wonderful outcomes from the perfect package for the job.

Images fundamentals

Familiarize yourself with the fundamentals of images, together with find out how to grasp composition and publicity.

How to shoot time lapse photography


Earlier than you shout ‘Motion!’, learn to make your story come to life with our filming ideas and methods.

How to shoot time lapse photography

Lighting methods

Need to study to shoot utilizing pure gentle, in low gentle and even find out how to paint with gentle? Uncover how, with these professional lighting methods and ideas.

How to shoot time lapse photography

Night time images methods

Discover ways to discover gentle within the darkness with these easy-to-master methods.

Try our Tales

Discover interviews and inspirational tales from passionate individuals

Join our e-newsletter

Get all the most recent information and product data

Do you want assist discovering a digicam?

Use our digicam selector and discover the right digicam for you.

We use cookies to offer you the very best expertise in your interactions with Canon and on our web site – discover out extra about our use of Cookies and alter your cookie settings right here. You conform to our use of cookies in your machine by persevering with to make use of our web site or by clicking I Settle for.

Undoubtedly you’ll have seen some beautiful time-lapse movies of the Milky Means rising within the night time sky or visitors dashing by means of a metropolis scene? Possibly you might have questioned how these movies have been created?
On this brief video and information under you’ll learn to get began with time-lapse images.

Time-lapse is a collection of 100s and even 1000s of nonetheless photos replayed in sequence producing a time-compressed video. Your Canon digicam is ideal for taking pictures time-lapse, learn the ideas under and earlier than it you can be creating your individual time-lapse masterpiece

  1. 1. The appropriate gear – two important gear objects for taking pictures time-lapse are a sturdy tripod, to maintain you digicam in a hard and fast place, and an intervalometer, additionally referred to as a timer distant management. It is a machine that allows you to set taking pictures intervals and within the movie we now have used the TC-80N3 which inserts N3 connectors- you probably have an E3 sort socket additionally, you will want a N3 to E3 converter cable. A few of our newest cameras function an in-built interval timer, together with the Canon EOS 7D Mark II, EOS 5DS and EOS 5DS R which makes the method even simpler
  2. 2. Determine in your topic – discover a scene the place there’s motion; a panorama scene with clouds, busy roads or a flowing waterfall are nice beginning topics for time-lapse images
  3. 3. Change the digicam to Dwell View Mode that can assist you arrange the shot as you need
  4. 4. Select RAW or jpg – RAW provides you extra scope to change the pictures later, however jpg makes use of much less disk house. You might need to shoot in medium or small format to suit extra photos in your card, though taking pictures at a decrease decision might have an effect on the standard of the ultimate video
  5. 5. Publicity settings – Change taking pictures mode to Aperture Precedence and select an acceptable ISO to ship the shutter pace you need. This could possibly be something from 100 to 800 through the day, and as a lot as 10,000 at night time. Relying in your scene you might have considered trying a sluggish shutter so as to add motion to your topic. Basically set your shutter pace underneath 1/100s for a smoother time-lapse
  6. 6. Evaluative metering will instruct your digicam to soak up the complete scene when deciding on publicity. Choosing full handbook publicity management will also be helpful for scenes the place the sunshine depth is fixed, but when the sunshine adjustments considerably your video might undergo from a flickering impact
  7. 7. Change off settings akin to Spotlight Tone Precedence and Peripheral Illumination Correction which will produce variations between photos. White steadiness and movie types ought to be manually mounted, should you shoot RAW you can also make changes later ought to you’ll want to
  8. 8. Compose your scene – choose the suitable lens, usually wide-angle works greatest, compose your shot, concentrate on the topic then swap your lens to handbook focus, you don’t need your digicam re-focussing every shot
  9. 9. Set your intervalometer – Select how usually your digicam takes a shot primarily based in your topic, for fast paced topics take photographs nearer collectively, e.g. for clouds transferring previous on a windy day attempt a 2 second interval
  10. 10. Determine how lengthy you need your time-lapse to run for – the longer you allow the digicam taking pictures the longer your last time-lapse will likely be. Keep in mind that almost all movies play again at 24 frames a second, due to this fact for a 30 second time-lapse you’ll need 720 photographs. If you happen to arrange the digicam to shoot each 2 seconds then the digicam might want to preserve going for 24 minutes. At longer intervals it’s possible you’ll want your digicam to be left firing for a number of hours

After getting your photos again house you’ll need to organize your last time-lapse. Any cropping, color correction to the pictures ought to be utilized equally to your entire set of photos to keep up consistency throughout the time-lapse.

When you’ve got shot in RAW you’ll probably must export to jpg, select an acceptable file dimension for the video you need to produce. There’s a vary of free video software program to mix your photos into your last piece from manufacturers akin to Apple or Microsoft, however on the video above Adobe Artistic Cloud was used.

We use cookies to offer you the very best expertise in your interactions with Canon and on our web site – discover out extra about our use of Cookies and alter your cookie settings right here. You conform to our use of cookies in your machine by persevering with to make use of our web site or by clicking I Settle for.