After you get a little practise in shooting time lapses in your own studio at home, times comes when you want to take it outside and record the city or beautiful nature that surrounds you. So check you’ve got your batteries charged, all lenses clean, enough memory cards to fill the time, tripod and a small brolly just in case you live in the UK 😉
Go to the main town square, train station or anywhere you can find crowds of people at all times of day. Pick the right angle to shoot from. It’s always great to find a place that is slightly elevated so you see more over the heads of people but hey, we work with what we’ve got so select the best place you can find.
It’s best to set your camera all on manual – focus, exposure, aperture, white balance, to avoid flickering effect that can be seen due to the changes of exposures between each frames. Also use a Natural Density filter to extend the exposure time to the maximum whilst having your aperture on f11 maximum. This will further help with avoiding flicker and dirt spots being visible in your final video and. An ND filter and longer exposures will also create a bit of a blurred effect, so people will look like they are moving really fast, almost flowing like a river. To achieve perfect picture one would also have to have a nice, prime manual lens, where you can lock the aperture… but if you are just a fanatic/amateur you might not want to fork out thousands of pounds on a ‘hobby’. If you can afford all that then good for you and give me a call so we can work together as I always want more and better equipment to take better and better time lapses so a wealthy sponsor is necessary 😉
Of course when I shot this video I did not have all of that and I made all the mistakes I just pointed out above. Therefore you can see lots of flickering in my time lapse, no smooth ghosty effect of crowds flowing and plenty of dust marks from my dirty sensor and way too narrow ‘f ‘ stop. On a bright day like that I probably shot on f18 or something stupid like that, rather than f5.6. Used ISO 100 but still that is not enough. So, yes you damn need an ND filter, dark one! Even though I don’t like this video because of all the mistakes I made, it still taught me a lot and now I try to double and triple check all my settings and equipment.
So forgive all the imperfections of this video and learn from my mistakes please.
This will be part of a longer time lapse movie I am currently shooting about Nottingham and how it changes over a period of one year. I only just started recording first scenes for the movie last month so still 11 more months till I have all the material needed. Only then I will upload a finished movie with sound track and properly edited.
I should hopefully get a camera track to make motion time lapses some time in the near future.
Thanks for watching.