, Art, Film Production, Photography

Mastering Time Lapse

Mastering Time Lapse Photography

Time lapse photography has the unique ability to compress hours of time into just a few moments.  It allows us to see patterns and motion that we never see in real time.  Capturing a successful time lapse takes technical skill, creativity and a lot of patience.

Lookout member, Justin Dent has all of these traits.

On a recent trip to Oregon, Justin shot an amazing timelapse video, “Hood to Coast: A Brief Lapse in Time” that captures the beauty of one of the most biodiverse states in the country.  We see rainforests, mountain glaciers and beaches from sunrise to sunset.

Shooting time lapse is, “a good excuse to combine my love of the outdoors and my passion for video and photography,” Justin says.

Justin sees time lapse as an interesting challenge, you never know quite what the results are going to be until you see it rendered out.  Sometimes you can spend hours in the woods at dawn only to have clouds block your sunrise.  But there are good surprises as Justin explains that during one of his shots, “there was this fog over the ocean that I couldn’t see was moving until it was rendered out in the time lapse.  It was like this river of fog that went out into the ocean.”

Gear and software helped take Justin’s time lapse to the next level.  He highly recommends LRTimelapse software that handles time lapse editing, keyframing, grading and rendering.  It’s also compatible with Adobe Lightroom.  LRTimelapse recommends a technique called the “Holy Grail”, in which during the time lapse, as the light changes, you manually adjust the camera settings to take the optimal image each time. The software reads the camera data to even out the changes in exposure and reduce flicker.  For camera movement he used the Kessler Crane – 2nd Shooter and a Kessler slider, which allows for three axis of movement.

“My advice is that it takes a ton of trial and error, so just get out there with the equipment you’ve got,” Justin says.  It doesn’t take a lot of fancy gear to shoot time lapse, just a camera, intervalometer, tripod, and a couple of hours to sit and watch the world go by…in real time.

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