TIME- LAPSE PHOTOGRAPHY – The spectacular wilderness in California’s Mojave Desert ignited my time-lapse addiction. I’d casually set up a camera and tripod, point it at something lovely, program an interval and meander through the desert, my robot camera clicking away. I love that simplicity, and yet a recent innovation explosion brings powerful new tools, greatly expanding the time-lapse palette. The article “Making Time-Lapse” in the October 2011 issue of OP set the foundation for doing time-lapse; now we’ll build on that and explore production tools and techniques, including motion-control, 3D, HDR, bramping and more.
The most important tool is developing your time-lapse eye, and experience is the best teacher. Observe light, shadow, motion and scale relationships, assessing light momentum and quality, shadow, clouds and stars. In short, learn to predict interactions in your frame. Respond to activity that may occur during the shot, balancing frame interval with final shot duration. I’ll share tools I credit with evolving and inspiring time-lapse for me, refining my aesthetic—maybe they will further your journey, too. Let’s accessorize!