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How to Do Time Lapse Photography:7 Steps and Tips

How to Do Time Lapse Photography:7 Steps and Tips

Time lapse photography can transport you back in time, allowing you to witness amazing scenes unfold over hours, days, or even years. Whether it's watching the sun crest a mountain peak as morning arrives or observing spectacular clouds rolling by while sunset paints the sky orange and gold - this powerful technique provides breathtaking glimpses of normally unseen moments frozen forever. So how to do time lapse photography? Let's see the comprehensive guide and tips about time lapse photography.

What is Time Lapse Photography

So what is time lapse photography? Time lapse photography is a technique where sequences of photos are taken of a scene over a period of time, then later combined into a single video clip. This time-lapse video can often show the changes to an environment or object over days, weeks, and even months. It's like capturing the passage of time in images; so you can see events unfold that would otherwise take too long for the human eye to spot.

How to Prepare for the Time Lapse Photography

When taking part in time lapse photography, it is important to properly prepare yourself and your photography gear for the task at hand.

Camera and Lens

You should decide on the right camera and lens for your project. Different cameras have different capabilities in terms of sensor size, frame rate, shutter speed, and ISO sensitivity – so make sure you pick one that best suits your needs. It’s also important to think about the type of sequence you want to capture.

Interval Meter

An interval meter is an invaluable tool, allowing you to set the desired interval for your time lapse – be it a second or a month. You can set the interval meter to determine when each image should be taken and how many images should be taken in a sequence.

A Tripod

A tripod is an essential piece of equipment for time lapse photography as it ensures that your shots are stable and consistent.

Enough Storage Space

You should also make sure you have enough storage space on your camera or external hard drive. This will enable you to store all the photos taken over a period of days, weeks, and even months.

Power Source

Also, make sure that your location has enough power sources to keep your equipment running – this could mean having a generator on hand or finding another reliable power source. The Anker 757 PowerHouse is a great choice for time-lapse photography as it uses a LiFePO4 battery, and has 1229Wh capacity and 13 ports that are capable of charging nearly any electronics.

A Neutral Density Filter

This is a great tool for time lapse photographers, as it helps reduce the amount of light entering your lens. This allows you to shoot longer exposures during daylight hours without overexposing your images.

How to Do Time Lapse Photography

Now that you’re equipped and prepared for your time lapse photography project, here are the steps to follow:

Step 1. Choose Your Location

Think about the elements that you want to capture in your time lapse. Consider factors such as light, movement, and weather conditions when selecting a shooting location. And the place should be easily accessible.

Step 2. Set Up Your Equipment

Secure your camera on the tripod, making sure it’s steady and level. If you’re using an interval meter, make sure that it is connected to your camera correctly according to the specific instructions. And if you’re using a neutral density filter, place it in front of the lens. And make sure the powerhouse is connected to the equipment.

Step 3. Set Up Your Camera Settings

Set the shutter speed, aperture, ISO, and white balance according to the type of scene you want to capture. Make sure your delay interval (speed) is also set correctly. This is also the time to set up your file format (JPEG or RAW) and resolution.

Step 4. Test the Settings

Check that all the settings are correct by taking a few test shots and making sure they look as you’d expect them to.

Step 5. Begin Shooting

Once you’re happy with the settings, start shooting! Click the shutter button and let your camera take pictures at the interval you chose.

Step 6. Take Breaks or Change Locations

If you’re shooting in a location for a long period of time, it is recommended to take regular breaks to ensure you don’t miss any shots. Also, if needed, consider moving to different locations and shooting from different angles or perspectives.

Step 7. Review and Edit Your Footage

When you’ve finished shooting, check all the images to ensure they look consistent and as expected. Then, use a video editing software program to assemble the images into a sequence and add music or other effects if desired.

Other Tips to Help

Now you have a good understanding of what time lapse photography is and how to go about shooting your own time lapses. Here are some other tips that may come in handy:

• Shoot in RAW – this will give you more control when editing your photos, allowing you to make adjustments that may not be possible with a JPEG file.

• Don't forget to take extra batteries or powerhouse and memory cards –you don’t want to run out of power or memory in the middle of a shoot.

Have a backup plan – always have a plan B in case something goes wrong or if the weather turns bad, as this could ruin your entire shoot.

Clean your camera's sensor before shooting – this will help eliminate any dust spots that may appear in your photos.

Try different angles and perspectives – move around the location and try to get creative with your shots. This can help create a more interesting time lapse that stands out from the rest.

Patience is key – time lapse photography requires patience and dedication, so don’t rush it! Make sure you take your time to get the perfect shot.

Have fun – time lapse photography is a great creative outlet and can be lots of fun, so don’t forget to enjoy it! Experiment with different settings and angles to create something unique.


Time lapse photography can be a great way to capture beautiful and unique images in a short amount of time. And now you exactly know what is it and how to do time lapse photography. As always, practice makes perfect and you will get better with more experience. So what are you waiting for? Get out there and start creating some amazing time lapses!

FAQ about How to Do Time Lapse Photography

How Does Time-lapse Photography Work?

Time-lapse photography works by taking multiple images over a period of time and then combining them into a single video or GIF. This allows for the compression of time, creating the effect of time passing quickly.

Can I Do Time Lapse Photography on My Phone?

Yes, you can do time lapse photography on your phone. Most modern phones come with a built-in time lapse feature, but if your phone doesn't have this option you can use an app such as Lapse It or TimeLapse.

Does Time-lapse Drain the Battery?

Yes, time-lapse photography will drain the battery if your time lapse period is very long like 10 hours or more a time, but there are some ways to reduce this.

First, make sure to keep your equipment off in between shots to reduce battery drain, and try to use a powerhouse like Anker 757 powerhouse if you are shooting for an extended period of time. Also, if you shooting on your phone, you can also make sure it is not using unnecessary apps or features while it is recording.

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