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A Complete Guide for Creating High-End, Cinematic Time-Lapse Videos

The time-lapse has been a fundamental technique in filmmaking and videography for some time, and the methods and results have simply improved consistently, year on year. Watch this comprehensive guide by the time-lapse photographer known for works like the intro sequence to the hit U.S. remake of "House of Cards".

Anything with a camera that shows me the world in a way I cannot see it, I'm interested. Whether that's macro, astrophotography, or time-lapse. Time-lapse videos, particularly in the last 5 years or so, have reached incredible new heights. With the introduction of drones with time-lapse functionality, higher resolution cameras, and sensors with better dynamic range, we can capture time-lapses in ways that was previously not possible.

That said, as with many areas of photography, it's nuanced and has a depth to the equipment you use. For the best results, you'll often want sliders, gimbals, drones, star trackers, and some of the newest camera bodies on the market. While this might help top photographers — like Drew Geraci in this video — create specialist, high-end commercial time-lapses, that level of equipment isn't necessary to create great time-lapses. Time-lapses are simply the capturing of change, which can be done anywhere, with any camera (though you may need an intervalometer if it doesn't come with one.) As Geraci mentions in this guide, simple subjects like clouds can be brilliant to shoot time-lapses of due to their movement, and that can be done in your back garden.

So if you're interested in creating time-lapses, make sure you watch this expert who has built a career on them, and his guide to making those cinematic videos we've grown to love.

Robert K Baggs's picture

Robert K Baggs is a professional portrait and commercial photographer, educator, and consultant from England. Robert has a First-Class degree in Philosophy and a Master's by Research. In 2015 Robert's work on plagiarism in photography was published as part of several universities' photography degree syllabuses.

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Really great presentation. Thank you much for putting this together.

Amazing video. Drew explained it in so simple way. Thank you

Very comprehensive! Drew’s is also great at making it easy. Thanks for sharing with the community!

Always shoot manual is...not the best advice. It's contextual. I've shot 50 industrial time-lapse films and 95% of the time my cameras are in Av mode. You must know your gear inside and out and work with the strengths and mitigate the weaknesses. Also, some of the technical explanations regarding f/stops is a bit conflicting but if you know already about the f/stop scale then you're good to go. Overall a watchable and information packed presentation. Personally being an After Effects guy really appreciated the post-pro segment. I'm going to try DaVinci Resolve. Thanks!