How NOT to do Timelapse Photography
If you ever wonder why you should follow me here on my personal site and follow along at CameraDojo.com, This is going to be one of those reasons. On Camera Dojo, I post completed articles and tutorials teaching people how to make the most out of their photography. Here I post current jobs as well as works in progress before they get finished up and posted on The Dojo.
In this case, I have been learning how to do timelapse photography. There are certainly some trial and error things I am learning along the way and this is one of my first multi-sequence shots that I did.
Now, let’s nit-pick it and see what all I did wrong.
Sequences were too short
I averaged 75 shots per sequence. At a playback rate of 24fps, this would be 3 seconds of video per sequence. However, when I was editing the pieces and adding cross-dissolve transitions, three seconds was way too shot. I decided to slow them down so they lasted longer. I really need 5 seconds of play plus transitions for 6 seconds of video, which would be 144 frames per segment, so I undershot by half. Always shoot more than you think you will need.
Didn’t Use Manual focus
I caught this while capturing the first sequence so I did better in the later ones. At 0:10 there is a jump in the video caused from the camera trying to autofocus. Once I got my focus dialed it, I switched to manual focus to avoid this issue.
The second sequence looked much better to my eye than it did in camera. I probably can improve on this in Lightroom, but I was trying to do as little post production as possible.
Poor Dealing with Fading Light
In the third sequence the light was fading fast and I made two adjustments to keep the exposure up. What I need to do is use LRTimeLapse to adjust all the frames into a smoother exposure sequence. I didn’t spend much time in post on these because once I figured out that they weren’t long enough I decided not to spend more time editing them.
Didn’t Tell a Story
What you are actually seeing is really in chronological order with the first three taken from different angles at the same spot and the final daylight one taken the next day. However, in the editing, it goes dark, lighter, darker, daylight when I should have reorganized it so it either got progressively darker or light.
Fortunately all of these issues are pretty easily solved and I am looking forward to trying again and seeing if I can get the technique down and create some cool shots.