1 – Get Steady
When you take a time-lapse, you’re generally going to be set up and in the same location for a long period of time, so having a solid foundation is key.
And that’s where a good tripod will come into practice. Any tripod is better than no tripod, but the heavier and more stable the better.
You can use sandbags as well if you really want to make sure your tripod is locked down tight.
Having a stable tripod will makes sure that the only thing that’s moving in your timelapse is in front of the camera, not the camera itself.
2 – Use Manual Focus
Now even though cameras like the Canon 80d have great autofocus systems in them, now’s not the time to use them.
And thats because sometimes when you’re using autofocus in a timelapse, it can hunt back and forth, making the time-lapse look a little bit weird.
So the best thing to do is throw it into manual focus, zoom in and see what you want to be in focus and then leave it.
3 – Use Slow shutter speeds
Now there are generally two main ways of shooting a time-lapse.
The first is just hitting record and then speeding up your video footage in post, and the second is taking a lot of photos and then putting them together to make a time-lapse.
My preffered method is the second one as it allows you to have a bit more creative control.
For example you can use a slower shutter speed and get some beautiful motion blur as you can see right here, where as it’s almost impossible to get the same effect just shooting with video.
4 – Use an ND Filter
But if you’ve ever tried to shoot with a really slow shutter speed during the day, you’ll quickly realise things get very bright very quickly.
So you’ll want to use an ND filter, to bring down your exposure so you can get those longer shutter speeds.
They’re a bit like sunglasses for your lens, and well worht the investment.
5 – Find a great shot and Enjoy it
And the last tip is to find a great shot and enjoy it. Really look to see where you can get a lovely composition and also it’s sometimes its a good idea to get a featured subject, a little closer to the lens.
Taking timelapses can be really fun and also a bit of a relaxing experience. Whereas normal photography can sometimes be a bit of a rushed experience, it’s the total opposite with timelapses.
You’re force to take your time. Some timelapses can take many minutes to many hours, so grab a good book or a cup of coffee or a beer and enjoy it.