The guide to time lapse | To not miss anything of the general news!

The guide to time lapse

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Timelapse is a technique for creating videos from still images with accelerated effects. Of course, it is difficult to surpass the skills of professional photographers and videographers, but thanks to timelapse, creating such video animations has become possible for a wide audience. What are the main benefits of timelapse? Read this article to find out more.

What is a time-lapse ?

A time-lapse is something in between photography and video, it's an effect created in sequence during capture and post-processing. For more information, you can additional reading more on this site. When you create a video time-lapse, you take a long series of shots at a fixed angle and at regular intervals, but with a much slower shutter speed than with normal video. 

The series of shots must then be edited to transfer at normal speeds, such as 24 or 25 frames per second. The result is a fast-moving video clip that nevertheless appears smooth to the viewer. For example, if a series of 100 still images are shot at 1 fps and then played back at 25 fps, the result is a 4-second video clip and an actual recording time of 100 seconds.

What are the main advantages of time-lapse photography ?

One of the main advantages of time-lapse photography is that it makes visible actions and movements that are difficult to see in real time-lapse photography. This is true for very slow movements whose sudden development is visible to the viewer, but also for fast action whose flesh is exaggerated to the max. Here are some examples of scenes suitable for time-lapse photography:

  • Clouds crossing the sky;
  • sunrises and sunsets
  • Flowers blooming and plants growing;
  • the development of construction sites
  • Pedestrian traffic in urban areas;
  • vehicular traffic.

What software to use ?

Once you have finished shooting, you can take hundreds or even thousands of images and edit them into a movie. If you shoot in JPEG format and don't bother with the first step, any editing software can import those files and create a video sequence. Experienced editors can choose Premiere Pro (Windows and macOS) or Final Cut Pro X (macOS), while photographers less familiar with editing can turn to free solutions such as OpenShot (Windows, macOS and Linux) or iMovie (macOS).