Time Lapse Photography: ( How To Shoot )

Time Lapse Video

Time Lapse VideoHave you ever thought of capturing a mesmerizing sunset, beautiful changes in ocean waves, or even eye-soothing camping moments with your friends? Like the whole moment with every single detail without feeling bored?

Exactly! That’s when time lapse enters a photographer’s wish list. No matter what amazing view you’re witnessing, you can always watch those clips back speedily but clearly with time lapse photography.

Hence, in this write-up, you’ll get to know about this photography its types, how to shoot it, the equipment for the best result, and many more – a marvelous photography journey, indeed!

Let’s begin then!

What is Time Lapse Photography?

Time lapse photography is a type of photography where you need to take single images and then combine them to make a video. That video will eventually show you the movement of that situation (environment) you were capturing.

For example, you can capture some pictures of clouds and then create a video of their movement. Then again, it can be stars or the people walking in the streets or even the vehicles running towards their destination.

This type of photograph will show you how the situation or people change over time. You can capture a baby growing up or the changes of the season from summer to winter just by clicking photos and then combining them into a time-lapse video.

Types of Time Lapse Photography

Till now, you might be thinking time lapse is only one kind of photography, but hey! Hold on. You’ll be shocked to know that this photography has 8 types of shots. They are:

1.     Basic

The first and foremost one is obviously the basic time-lapse shot. To shoot this one, you don’t really need to do anything. Just pick up your time lapse camera, open the feature and click.

2.     Astro

No, it’s not your favorite music band but yes, it’s another type of time lapse you can use to cherish your memories.

Astro is not that different from the Basic one. The contrast only lies in the placement. You’ve to shoot this one in a dark place at nighttime.

3.     Holy Grail

Well, this one’s a bit tricky. You need to change your setting every time you’re in a different place, light or even if you’re changing your angles.

It takes time to learn and once you get comfortable, you can capture excellent shoots we believe.

4.     Aerial Hyperlapse

This timelapse is very interesting because you need to use it while you’re traveling by plane. Those moving clouds. Sunrise/sunset from above and the color of the sky will be a perfect thing to witness once you get back to the ground.

5.     Motion Control

If you want your outcomes to be real fun, you have to try motion control. It’s simple and easy. You just need a good camera, tripod, and lighting. That’s it. You’re set.

6.     Hyperlapse

In this type, you have to move your camera a little distance each time you’re taking the photographs. Mainly it’s a timelapse where the images are taken from a moving camera.

You can stitch those clips together later to make it a videography.

7.     Plant Time Lapse

Plant time-lapse is usually used to shoot the growth of a plant or a single flower/fruit. You can keep your camera at a good angle, and lighting. Then take shots of your plant growing beautifully.

Finally, make it a video and see how gorgeously it grew up.

8.     Focus Full Time Lapse

Last but not least, focus full timelapse is needed when you want to focus on a specific subject to glorify it. This can be done for a person or a building, or a particular street!

What Equipment Do You Need for Time Lapse Photography

Time lapse photography doesn’t require much equipment. There are a few things you need to have for a great shot. They include:

●      DSLR/CSC Camera

The good news is that any point and shoot camera is great for taking time lapse photos or videos. Among them, DSLRs are the easiest ones to handle.

Every feature is set in these cameras so you just need to click your subject, that’s all.

●      Intervalometer

An intervalometer is a software or external device which will tell your camera to take photos for a particular amount of time at specific intervals.

This way you won’t have to stand next to your cam and manually click the shutter every second.

●      Tripod

Tripod is necessary for time-lapse photography. Obviously, you won’t want blurry or unsteady shots for your video right? This thing will help to capture your subject properly by standing still.

●      Polarising/ND Filters

If you want flexibility with your shutter and don’t want any extra light coming through your shot, try using ND filters for time lapse photography. They’re the sunglasses of your camera and reduce the extra light that comes into the lens (without even changing the color temp)

●      Lens

The lens actually depends on what you’re shooting. Any lens would be good though but try to purchase one from 14mm-200mm.

●      Memory Cards

A high-capacity memory card is compulsory for high-quality images. Of course, your shoot will require lots of space so purchase a card depending on that.

Moreover, try to film RAW and RAW needs multiple capacities just so you know.

●      Cable release

For your own benefit, try to carry cable release. This way you don’t have to touch your camera more often between shoots.

Time Lapse Photography

What are the Best Camera Settings for Creating A Time Lapse?

The best cam settings for your timelapse are:

  • To keep your subject focused, choose an aperture.
  • The camera’s shutter speed matters the most for the clear and sharp outcome. For the smooth clip, try slow apertures like 1/50 or slower.
  • The ISO should be low in a high light setting. This way, the image will look less noisy.
  • Set the camera in manual always if you don’t mind changing the shutter every time.
  • Time lapse intervals should always be perfect. For fast movement videos, shorter intervals are fine, and long intervals (up to 30sec) are good for slower movements.

How to Shoot Time Lapse Photography?

Now that you know everything about time lapse photography, it’s time to do it by yourself. You need to keep a few things in your mind while shooting:

  • As a good location is mandatory, you should scout a place that has excellent light and background.
  • Pack your equipment carefully and check if there’s anything left.
  • After reaching your destination, select a place from where you’ll shoot. Place your tripod there and connect the camera by locking it down.
  • If you have an intervalometer, connect it for a professional outcome.
  • Put the cam in manual mode (it’s the best).
  • Then, check if there are any blown highlights. Make sure to focus your lens on the image perfectly for a sharp result.
  • If you’re planning to take shots from DSLR, cover the viewfinder; otherwise, a stray light leaking can damage the exposure.
  • Take a shot test to observe if you’re 100% satisfied with the composition, light, and exposure.
  • Finally, click start and leave your cam alone for the rest of the photography.

Expert Tips to Get the Best Output

This section is only for you to get some secret tricks for the best outcome of your time lapse photography. Let’s see what those are,

  • Always set the white balance of your camera manually
  • Clean the sensor and lens of the cam before your shoot. This way the pictures will be clear
  • Raw shots are the best. Click them in raw and then edit in your own way
  • Always carry extra spare batteries as batteries drain very quickly. You can try to use a battery grip also for better result
  • For a cinematic look, make sure the shutter speed is around 1/50sec. It’ll give that smooth and motion blur effect
  • Get large and fast memory cards above 32GB with 50MB/s write speed
  • To save battery, turn off the Review image options and Auto Power Off

Frequently Asked Questions

1.     How many photos do I need for a time lapse?

To make a 20-25 sec time-lapse video, you have to take 300-450 photos (generally). If you want to make a long video than this, click more pictures.

2.     How long is a 2hour time lapse?

For a 30sec time-lapse video that runs in 30fps, you have to set an 8secs of shooting interval in your camera. This way, you can capture a 2hours event, and it’ll turn out great with a duration of 30sec

3.     How long can iPhone record time lapse?

The time lapse of the iPhone can be as great as a professional camera. On iPhone, you can easily record for 30hours for an outstanding time lapse videography.


That’s the finale of our time lapse photography article. We provided you with all the information you need to get started.

Make sure you have the best camera, settings, memory space, and batteries including the best lighting, place, angle and patience (kidding) for your most awaited time lapse photograph.

Good luck!


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