How to Get a Perfect Timelapse

How to Get a Perfect Timelapse

By creating a timelapse, or a sped-up sequence of pictures of the same subject taken over time, you can make a normally slow process look fast. You might want people to see: 

  • A flower opening up
  • A construction or renovation project being completed
  • A beautiful sunset or sunrise happening in seconds
  • People moving at high speed through a city
  • The nightly movements of stars

There are techniques for mastering each type of timelapse, like handling the changing light levels in a sunset, for example. But you should first learn the general principles of all time-lapse photos and videos. 

Surprisingly, it’s not the camera that counts so much. There are many different brands of cameras and smartphones that will do the job. It’s your other equipment, such as a timelapse slider, that matters most. 

What Type of Camera Do I Need? 

Many photographers use a digital camera with a single-lens reflex design (a DSLR). Each brand of DSLR has slightly different features, but any decent one can help you capture a timelapse. There’s no single brand that’s the best.

The common principle is the ability of a digital camera to take a lot of pictures without the film needing to be changed. Plus, an app can be used to control the camera very precisely. In fact, you can even get a nice-looking timelapse on a smartphone if you have the right equipment to support it.

This means you can get the type of camera or smartphone that you really enjoy using. Find one that has features that you understand and know you’ll use.

If you already have your DSLR or smartphone, perfect! But what about other equipment? 

The Secret of Professionals: The Motorized Camera Slider

It’s not possible to get a good timelapse sequence holding a camera in your hand. The camera must be held perfectly steady, which only a sturdy device can do. 

A good tripod can help to accomplish this. You just need an app or a camera feature that will automatically take the sequence of pictures for you. Also, if you’re in a difficult lighting situation, like a sunset, you need automation to handle the light exposure changes. 

But what’s really exciting is using a motorized camera slider. As your camera takes a sequence of pictures, it will also be panning horizontally, moving both slowly and precisely. 

Imagine, for example, moving your shot slowly across a panorama of a seashore while the sun is setting. A plant, rock, or even a boat could move past in the foreground.

A good timelapse slider can simultaneously: 

  • Hold your camera steady
  • Slowly move the camera to one side
  • Take all the pictures for you

It can do all this from an easy-to-use app. The Rhino Motion, along with several of our other products, can achieve all that!

Stand-Out Time-lapse Sequences

How do you take a stand-out timelapse? A good camera is a necessity, but it’s not the secret. A tripod combined with an app can get you part of the way there, but a great motorized camera slider will get sequences that most other people can’t duplicate. 

Once you have that equipment, it’s up to you to search for great shots. The more you scout locations, the more likely you are to find a new timelapse subject that other photographers have overlooked. Try looking for:

  • Unusual spots to shoot from
  • Static foreground features that add more interest to the moving background
  • Surprising subjects that make viewers see life in a new way

To get the reactions that you want from viewers, buy Rhino motion control equipment, such as one of our ROV Motorized Sliders. Practice hard with it, and get the shots and gigs you want!