Home Photo Tech Foundation Pillars of Time Lapse Photography You Must Construct Before Shooting

Foundation Pillars of Time Lapse Photography You Must Construct Before Shooting

Lots of definitions, lots of tutorials, lots of tips, etc. are there about time lapse photography. There are separate studies of different sections for time lapse photography. I felt a necessity to see all those in one single article, because when you learn about time lapse, then you need to know how to do that and when you discover those tutorials about time lapse then you need to learn some tips which shall guide you to take excellent photography for making outstanding photography.

The Foundation Starts

Today, I shall take an endeavor to compile all those in a single article. I hope, this article shall lead you to level when you can handle the time lapse photography like a pro. I shall go step by step where I will start with the definition of time lapse, then the tutorial for making one video with the photographs and finally I will cite examples of natural time lapse which will act as tips or guideline for time lapse photography.

The Definition of Time Lapse

Let’s not callously defining time lapse. You all know what a lapse is. There are many synonyms of the word lapse like; failure, failing, slip, error, mistake, blunder, fault, omission, oversight, negligence, dereliction, etc. Here I take the word as the meaning of lapse. When you slip somewhere, then your leg quickly goes from one place to another place. That sudden change may not be helpful for you but helpful here to make the meaning of the word a clear one.

time lapse photography image

While getting a slip, your leg changes the position faster than the usual like that way lapse is a slip which makes a quick change. Now, time lapse is a slip of time which takes the event from the starting to the end faster than the usual one. I hope you got the basic idea about time lapse.

Now, what is a time lapse video? Well, it is a video where you see a time lapse. Like a whole candle burnt within 15 seconds. How it happens then? We shall discuss the mechanism of time lapse in the next para. So, we can say that time lapse is a slip in the time where the entire event is done by squeezing the time.

Mechanism of Time Lapse Video

A video is nothing but the projection of many photographs one after another. Usually, one event is photographed by taking numerous photos within a second and then they are projected by showing the pictures one after another maintaining a rate which appears to be a regular event. And this is called a video. While displaying the photographs as a video, usually 24 frames or pictures are shown per second.

If your projector is showing 24 per seconds then whatever is the number of frames you have recorded per second, 24 frames will be displayed on the projector. Now, think you are recording with a slower rate of frame per second. Maybe you are capturing two frames in a second. Consider you have filed a whole event at this rate. That means you have caught two frames in one second.

time lapse photography frames

After capturing, you have given it to the projector. Now, the projector will follow its principle by showing 24 frames per second. Thereby the total time will be squeezed and become a short video. So, this is the video camera which takes the recording and later on it is the projector which modifies it to a time-lapse video. Nowadays, there is software which can convert a regular video into a time-lapse video. The mechanism is the same. It just changes the FPS or frame per second.

What is Time Lapse Photography?

In the mechanism portion, I have mentioned that video is nothing but the continuous projection of a series of photographs maintaining a certain rate. So, for making a video, you need to capture a set of photos. Keeping this principle in consideration, the photography which is done to make a time lapse video is called the time lapse photography. The mechanism is the same. In this case, you need additional software which does the work for making these photos into a video.

what is time lapse photography

How to do Time Lapse Photography

Time lapse photography is a lengthy process from the starting to the finishing. There are two steps in this photography. One is taking the photo, and another is to make the video or the post-processing. Firstly, you need a steady tripod for time-lapse photography. Then you need anything by which you can remotely initiate the photography and continue the whole process automatically. It can be done by:

  • A Remote: Which is usually connected by a wire.
  • PC software: Also connected by wire or by wifi.
  • Magic Lantern: This is a software which can be installed within the camera and has an intervalometer.


The key points for this photography are:

  • Place the camera on a tripod.
  • Set an ISO range depending on the presence of light. Remember that more ISO makes more noise.
  • Aperture depends upon how much depth you want.
  • Exposure compensation should be done properly.
  • The time interval between two consecutive shots is significant. You should carefully set the time interval in your intervalometer.
  • Select the perfect lens. If the time lapse is of a landscape view, then select one wide aperture lens.


Now you need to do the post-processing. The post-processing is easy. There is much more software available for the post-processing of time lapse photography. Movavi Video Editor, VirtualDub, iMovie, LRTimelapse, Framelapse, etc. are mentionable.  I use Filmora for the post-processing of Timelapse. See the video below to learn the post-processing of time lapse photography easily.

Tips For Time Lapse

Before giving you some suggestions, I must say that you should see different ideas and tips on various websites and Youtube. All the tips are just a guideline. Using the tips and ideas you need to discover something new. Your continuous tries will make a different new suggestion for others. However, I am giving you some very general tips.

  • Traffic movement at Day or Night.
  • Star Trail.
  • A crowd at any place.
  • Season change.
  • Preparation of anything from the beginning to the end in any factory.
  • A time period of any seaport.
  • Clouds.
  • Seed to plant.
  • Sunrise and sunset.
  • A painting.

Last Words

Time lapse is an exciting field of photography. It is a lengthy process, but you will never become tired of shooting this photography, provided you understand the whole procedure and post-processing of time lapse correctly. There are lots of ideas around you for making time lapse video. I made a one-time lapse video of a burning candle. I did not go outside for this photography. So, you don’t need to go out always for making this photo.



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