Time-Lapse photography is gaining increasing recognition to the extent that this technique continues appearing in mainstream motion pictures on a regular basis and there is plenty of great examples on the Web. No photography blog would also be complete without an entry revealing the basics behind Time-Lapse Photography. Therefore, this post will discuss numerous aspects of Time-Lapse Photography including equipment, technique, processing and workflow in order to bring you closer to shooting your own Time-Lapse clip.
What is Time-Lapse Photography?
Basically, time-lapse is a photography technique that involves taking a series of photographs, maintaining the same interval between the shots, and then compiling them into a slide show or a movie clip. This technique is ideal to demonstrate events that usually take substantial time to develop in a relatively short period of time. Numerous examples of Time-Lapse Photography include blossoming flowers, growing plants, rotting vegetables and fruit, changing weather, moving clouds, cityscapes at night, night sky as well as city life. What makes this technique even more interesting is the fact that by increasing the intervals between the shots, it is possible to demonstrate unnoticed events that take time, in seconds.
Here are some of my examples of time-lapse projects shot both at night and in the daytime.
Notice how fast shutter speed and relatively long intervals made the video quite ‘choppy’.
Here on, the other hand, smaller intervals made the video flow better.
Finally, longer exposures taken at night create impressive trails of light.
Also an example of a time-lapse project made form video rather than picture files
Vertorama / tiltorama (see comments for details) simply stands for a vertical panorama and it’s one of the best ways to capture interiors. If you are not familiar with panoramic photography, please read my previous post on Equirectangular Panorama to get yourself familiar with the stitching process.
I had an idea recently and was wondering what would happen if I stacked several long exposures in Photoshop. The result can be seen below. This picture was stacked from 20 exposures and I have to say it looks really good. So, what are you waiting for? Take several long exposures, capturing car lights or other moving light sources, open all of them in Photoshop and then stack all the layers together. Unfortunately, you will have to blend the layers individually, working on two images at a time. Select one image and then place another on top of it. Then, select the layer you want to blend in the ‘Layers Tab’ on the left, right-click on it, go to ‘Blending Options’, select ‘Lighten’ from the ‘Blending Mode’ menu and voila! Just continue stacking the layers until you get the desired effect. If you are completely new to long exposure photography please read my post on Long Exposure Photography – Capturing Car Lights.
Thanks for reading and good luck with your photography.
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Inspired by this image I have seen on Deviant Art recently, I have decided to experiment with this new technique which can be described as Light Painting with Zoom. The results can be seen below.