The Art of Timelapse and Hyperlapse Photography
Digital photography has become a daily part of our lives. We consume and create photography almost constantly in our daily travels, advertising and social media. A natural stepping stone to still photography is timelapse, the art of capturing change over time. Only since the advent of modern digital cameras has timelapse photography become so accessible.
In this 70 minute class, you’ll start by learning how to create your own timelapse videos using as little as a basic digital camera and a tripod. From there you will level up to create a hyperlapse, a specialized timelapse with camera motion over large distances. As a final lesson, Ian goes through the challenging yet attainable “Holy Grail” of timelapse: the seamless transitions from day to night.
Go on location with Ian in Berlin and Norway to learn his exact techniques, tips, and tricks behind capturing breathtaking timelapses.
What You'll Learn
- Introduction. Time-lapse photography produces stunning images that give viewers a glimpse of the world as they rarely see it. When done correctly, it may seem like it took a team of professionals using expensive equipment to produce. In this course, however, skilled time-lapse photographer Ian Norman can show you how to achieve beautiful results, even if all you have is a smartphone.
- Picking your Time-Lapse Subject. When choosing a subject for your time-lapse photography project there are two elements to keep in mind; one is the static setting of your shot, and the second is the subject itself. It is important to choose a subject that will provide enough motion to be interesting without becoming a blur. Ian gives a few examples of his favorite types of time-lapse projects, including construction, traffic, and clouds, as well as a few tips to help your project come alive with dynamic, interesting motion.
- Time-Lapse Equipment Introduction. With just a few bits of kit, anyone can take beautiful time-lapse photos, and in this section, Ian covers the necessary accessories for a successful shoot. The most crucial element, besides the camera, is the tripod, and Ian gives examples of the different types which can be used, including a few designed to work with smartphones.
- Setting Up and Shooting Your Time -Lapse. Unlike taking photos indoors with studio light, several factors must be considered when shooting time-lapse sequences. In addition to understanding exposure so that you can adjust to the light as it changes, you will also need to determine the correct interval for each individual shot, how long your finished sequence should be, and how many frames you will need.
- Batch Processing Time-Lapse Frames in Adobe Lightroom. Once you have your collection of time-lapse frames, it’s time to take them into Lightroom and do some basic adjustments. Small tweaks to vibrance, contrast, and exposure can make your images leap off the screen with just a little bit of effort.
- Compiling the Time-Lapse. Before you share your project with the world, you will first have to compile the images into a movie. Certain considerations will determine your settings during this phase, and Ian gives you some tips on aspect ratio, frame rate, and frame size to ensure that your project achieves an optimal balance between size and quality.
- Adding Motion. When camera motion is added to a time-lapse sequence the result is known as “hyperlapse” photography. Previously, such shots required the use of expensive equipment, but Ian shows you how to get the same results using nothing more than a smartphone.
- Motion Types and Anchor Points. In this section, Ian covers the four types of camera motion that work best for hyperlapse photos and give you tips on how to perform these movements to get suitable results. He’ll also show you how to find an anchor point in your subject which will remain stationary throughout your shot.
- Hyperlapse Shooting Techniques. Using frame markers, you will lock your focus and anchor point to minimize jitter while shooting your hyperlapse sequence. You will also learn how to achieve faster or slower motion in your shots.
- Stabilizing with YouTube. YouTube has great tools for enhancing your videos, including one which can stabilize your sequence to further reduce shaking.
- Advanced Stabilizing in Adobe After Effects. For more advanced stabilizing, professional software such as Adobe After Effects can use tracking markers to create sequences that flow smoothly and seamlessly.
- Camera Preparation and Setup. To shoot a sequence that progresses from day to night, otherwise known as a “Holy Grail” shot, you will need a few tips on setting up your camera to avoid flickering, choosing the correct interval, and shutter speed.
- Shooting a Holy Grail Time-Lapse Sequence. During your Holy Grail sequence, you will need to keep a few things in mind in order for it to be successful. As the light changes, you will need to adjust various settings, such as ISO and exposure, between the intervals you have set. This may seem complicated, but with just a little guidance you will be able to adapt to the light as it changes from day to night.
- Exposure Leveling in Lightroom and LRTimelapse. Your sequence will likely still have sections that flicker as the settings were adjusted, but this can be easily solved using Lightroom and LRTimelapse. A few adjustments can create a smooth transition between your images.
- Color Grading with Lightroom and LRTimelapse. Using keyframes, you can easily adjust colors across your project to achieve a coherent sequence of images with the correct white balance, contrast, and vibrance.