Creating Time Lapse Photography

Today’s Post by Mark Toal

Thanks to more cameras having a built-in time lapse function and cell phone Apps that let you calculate how may frames to shoot for any situation, anybody can easily make great time lapse videos. The below video shows how to set up the time lapse mode on a Panasonic Lumix G85 camera.

I got started with time-lapse when I was asked to record a Rat Rod car being built over a 28-day period. I needed to calculate how many frames to shoot and how often I needed to set the camera to take a photo. I also needed to consider how many images would fit on a 32GB SD card so I could plan on changing the card which was 45 miles from my home. Here’s one of the 28-day Rat Rod build shot with a Panasonic Lumix GH4 with images taken 10 minutes apart for 28 days.

Here are some suggestions for making your first time-lapse video”

  1. Determine how long the event you want to record will last and how long you want the final video to Use an App like “T-lapse Calc” for the iPhone to enter the two variables and it will calculate how many frames to shoot and the interval.
  2. Make sure your SD card will hold all the images.
  3. Use a tripod.
  4. Lower the image resolution; since the result will be a video you only need two-megapixel files for 1080P HD and eight-megapixel files for 4K video. Start with JPEG files since it will make processing faster and easier.
  5. For your first time-lapse set your camera to Auto Focus, Auto Exposure, and Auto ISO. As you get experience go to Google or YouTube and research creative time lapse ideas with other settings.
  6. Depending on your camera model you can make the video in the camera or use a software program to build the final video. Most video software will create the time-lapse from your still photos.
  7. Think about adding music to the result before you post in on Youtube or Video.

Here’s an example of a recent event I worked for Panasonic in LA shot with a Panasonic Lumix FZ300. The Drink and Click video set to an image every 10 seconds for two hours