Time-lapse photography is definitely not as cut and dry as setting your camera on a tripod and pressing record. It takes careful planning, a few pieces of essential gear, and a little bit of expertise to create those beautifully cinematic shots. If you're interested in adding this technique to your repertoire, Spanish cinematographer and time-lapse pro Enrique Pacheco shares a bunch of invaluable tips and answers many central questions with you in this helpful Shutterstock video entitled Timelapse Wisdom.
Enrique is not only a time-lapse photographer, but also a highly sought-after DSLR workshop instructor and Shutterstock contributor. Check out this video to get better acquainted with this talented photographer, as well as with his work and what it's like being a jet-setting time-lapse photographer.
In the short video below, Enrique shares some great information on time-lapse photography, from the gear you'll need to the tricks you learn along the way that make your images look better. If you're at all interested in this technique you probably know that you'll need a few key pieces of gear, a couple of which you're likely to have in your bag already, like a camera and a tripod. However, you'll also need a remote intervalometer, which does pretty much what it sounds like it does -- meters intervals (of time), and a neutral density filter.
Keep in mind that capturing a quality time-lapse takes quite a bit of planning and patience. Knowing the position of the sun or moon during your shoot is a must, as well as doing your research on your location before you ever set your tripod down. Enrique explains that he studies every location thoroughly, and plans each shoot around sunrise, sunset, moonrise, and moonset. He does this with an app called The Photographer's Ephemeris, which you can find in the App Store for $8.99 or Google Play for $4.99. (It's also available on your desktop.)
And at the end of the day, the most important thing is to remember the basic principles of photography -- create a beautiful composition that draws focus to your subject with quality light. Once you have that covered, you can start to have fun using all of the awesome gadgets that are out there for motion control, which could take your time-lapse videos to a whole new level.
Here's Enrique to give you a quick lesson on time-lapse photography.
Enrique has also shared 10 time-lapse tips on his website that dig deeper into the techniques he mentions in the video below, and it's an absolute must-read for those interested in getting into time-lapse photography. One bit of information from his post I found incredible useful was the idea of choosing the right "lapse" for the subject you're shooting. Subjects that move at different speeds require different intervals, and Enrique shares a few suggestions for objects commonly shot:
- Clouds moving very slowly: interval of 10 seconds.
- Clouds moving normally: interval of 5 seconds.
- Clouds moving very fast: interval of 3 seconds.
- People walking down the street: interval of 2 seconds.
- Path of the sun on a clear day, interval of 30 seconds.
- Night landscapes, stars, moon, etc.: interval of 20 to 30 seconds.
And finally, here are a couple of Enrique's time-lapse videos for good measure:
Are you a time-lapse photographer? What tips/tricks should beginners know before they press record?