Last Updated on January 13, 2019
Want to try your hand with time-lapse photography?
If you already tried it and failed in producing great results, there must be something you’re doing wrong.
Believe it or not, the camera you’re using could be one of the problems.
How to Capture the Best Time Lapse
- Use a Nikon camera (if possible)
The camera comes with an Interval Timer Shooting that you can use to shoot a series of options and set a time in between shots. You also have the option to delay the start of a time lapse using the timer.
After setting the hours, minutes, and seconds in between shots, you can also preprogram how many shots to take in total and how many pictures to take between intervals.
00:05′ 00″ is recommended for a general time lapse.
As for the number of takes between intervals, choose 1 and the setting will appear as 999 x 1 = 0999.
Can you do the same thing with the Canon camera?
Since Canon does not have a time lapse functionality, you need to add the feature. But the process is painfully slow, requiring you to press the shutter at regular intervals for 30 minutes. If you have the patience to do this, there’s no need to switch cameras.
An alternative would be to buy a cable release that comes with a built-in time lapse function.
Use manual focus
When using autofocus, the camera will try to autofocus between shots, eating away precious battery time and causing glitches. This is why it is recommended to focus manually.
Set to manual mode
For the best time lapse, everything in your camera must be constant even when the subject changes. So set the camera to manual mode, including the shutter speed, white balance, ISO, and aperture.
If you’re not sure about the best settings in manual mode, take a test shot using aperture priority or shutter priority mode. If the result is more than acceptable, use the same settings in manual mode.
- Shoot in low res
Doing so will save memory and battery life, which will prove helpful when taking photos in places with little to no accessibility to electricity.
More than anything, however, time lapse does not require a full resolution of 15.1 MP, so low resolution makes a lot of practical sense.
- Compose shots accordingly
Unless your subject is an inanimate object, you must anticipate its movements within the coming minutes or hours and then compose your shot. This is vital for any change in movement to fall within the frame you set.
- Use a remote shutter release
Pressing the camera button with your hands is a major no-no in time lapse so, in the absence of an intervalometer, use a remote shutter release instead.
Firing shots manually in this manner may be tiring, but you are guaranteed a good shot.
This is because even the slightest shake will caused a glitch in a time lapse photo or video, so avoid touching the camera at all cost.
Practice and plan
Get a clear picture of how many shots you need and at what interval before you shoot a time lapse or two. It is best to do some trial and error rather than waste time and effort with an actual subject.