Photographer Meta Gatschenberger Presents Her Best Time Lapse Photography Tips For Beginners

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Meta’s Best Time Lapse Photography Tips For Beginners

Western North Carolina Nature Photographer Meta Gatschenberger Presents Her Best Time Lapse Photography Tips For Beginners.

Meta’s Time Lapse Photography (Video: Top) is the art of shooting thousands of still images, one shot every few seconds, then using special Post Production Video Software (Apple QuickTime), to turn the still images into one speeded up Time Lapse Video, compressing many hours into just a few seconds of high speed video. Time Lapse Videos can be fun to create and interesting to watch.

The timing of the still frame shooting is done using an Intervalometer, which is a timed camera trigger device, that is physically tethered to your Sony Digital Camera. The Intervalometer precisely controls the start delay, duration of shots and the number of shots taken and is an essential part of the Time Lapse Photography Gear required to Photograph Time Lapse Photography to Create Time Lapse Videos.

Meta’s “Windy Mountain Road Time Lapse Video”, 1:28, was shot with a Minolta AF 50mm f/1.4 Prime Lens mounted on a Sony Digital Camera on a Slik Pro 700 DX Tripod over a 2 hour period at 1 frame every 2 seconds. It is composed of 3,420 Still Images! This was Meta’s 1st attempt at creating a Time Lapse Video, and it came out rather well.

Meta’s “Rockport Maine Harbor Time Lapse Video”, 0:30, was shot with a Minolta AF 50mm f/1.4 Prime Lens mounted on a Sony Digital Camera on a Slik Pro 700 DX Tripod.

Meta shoots with Sony Digital Cameras and Minolta Lenses.

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Meta’s Best Time Lapse Photography Tips

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Meta’s Best Time Lapse Photography Setup

• Important: You must use a Very Sturdy Tripod, such as the Slik Pro 700 DX Tripod.
Intervalometer – Automated Camera Trigger for Sony Digital Cameras.
• Use Manual Mode M – Verify the Exposure is Correct.
• Manual Focus with Yellow Peaking Color Turned On.
• ISO 100.
• Image Stabilizer: Off.
• 1/15th to 1/10th Shutter Speed (Adds Slight Motion Blur To Each Frame)
• 3-Stop ND Filter plus a CPL Filter when shooting Wide Open.
• Image Size: Small for 1920x1080 HD Video.
• Aspect Ratio: 16:9 HD Video Size.
Intervalometer: Set for 1 Shot every 2 seconds (30 shots per minute) for HD Video Mode.
• Once Setup, Shut the Camera’s LCD to save Power and Protect the rear LCD.
• Moisture – Check the local weather forecast for rain. Cover your Sony Digital Camera.
• Heat – Protect Camera from Direct Sun that can Overheat the Sony Digital Camera.
• Video Production Software: Apple QuickTime.
• 2 Energizer AAA 1.5V Lithium Batteries (Replace Them Each Time You Use The Intervalometer).

Note: Remember to Reset your Sony Digital Camera settings back to the Standard Photography Settings after use.

Intervalometer Calculations

The Final Video Length is the first thing you need to decide on before you begin planning your Time Lapse Video. 30 Second and 60 Second Videos are common. Multiply the Video Length x 30 FPS to determine the Number of Still Images required to be shot. Divide the Number of Still Shots by the Shots per Minute, as set by the Intervalometer to determine the Total Shooting Time in Minutes.

Total Shooting Time (m) = (Video Length (s) x 30) / Shots per Minute)
(60 x 30) / 30 = 60 minutes at 30 FPS Video Quality

Example: A One Minute Final Video, shot at 30 FPS, will require (60 Seconds x 30 FPS) or 1,800 Still Images to be shot and processed per minute of Final Video. A Two Minute Video will require 3,600 Still Images!
Set the Intervalometer for 1 Shot every 2 seconds (30 shots per minute). This will require 1,800 Still Images divided by 30 Shots per Minute (1,800 / 30 = 60) or 60 minutes of Total Shooting Time.

Meta's Best Digital Photography Tips For BeginnersMusic can add a lot of interest to your Time Lapse Video! If you have a certain piece of Music that you want to use in your Final Time Lapse Video, note the Length of the Music, then create your Time Lapse Video Length to match the Length of the Music perfectly. This will result in perfect timing of your Video and Music.

This Intervalometer Program begins shooting after a short 30 second Setup DELAY, then takes one shot every 2 seconds. Remember to set the N or Number of Shots to Unlimited or -- (Default is 399 Shots).

The Exposure Time (LONG) is set to 00:00’:00”, because the Shutter Speed is now controlled by the Sony Digital Camera (1/10th or 1/15th of a Second), not by the Intervalometer.

DELAY: 00:00’:30” | LONG: 00:00’:00” | INTVL: 00:00’:02”

Refer to your Intervalometer’s User Manual for Additional Programming Instructions.

Intervalometer

Bring a chair, a hat and something to drink, because you’re going to be here for a while!

Meta's Best Digital Photography Tips For BeginnersAd • Sony A77 Dual Battery Grip – For Long Time Lapse Photography, a 2nd Sony Digital Camera Battery is a must, because once the shooting begins, you can’t touch the Sony Digital Camera to change the battery! The Sony A77 Dual Battery Grip holds 2 Sony Digital Camera Batteries and works with the Sony a77 / a77 II Digital Cameras!

Meta’s Best Time Lapse Photography Post Production

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Time Lapse Video Post Production Software

For Post Production Software, Meta uses Apple’s QuickTime. This is actually very simple to use and easy to do on a Mac (Not too sure on a PC).

1) Once you have all of your 3008x1688 Still Images (16:9 HD Aspect Ratio), transfer all of the Time-Lapse Still Images from the camera into a Folder call it “Time-Lapse Images”.

2) Launch Apple QuickTime.

3) Select File: Open Sequence –> Select the “Time-Lapse Images” Folder.

4) QuickTime will ask you to select a Frame Rate. Select 30 FPS for a Smooth Video.

5) Compile Video: Once all the Still Images have loaded into your Computer, QuickTime (wait about one minute), select File: Save and name it “Time-Lapse.mov”. The imported files are still too large (3008x1688) to use for HD Video so they will need to be Exported and Resized down for Standard HD Video Format of 1080p (1920x1080).

6) Add Music: If you want to add Music to the Final Video (Adds More Interest), now is the time to do it. It works better if you trim the Video Length to match the Music Length, so they start and stop perfectly in sync. Open a mp3 Music File in QuickTime Pro, Select All and Copy. Switch to the Final Movie File, and Select “Add To Movie”. Trim the Final Video Length if needed to match the Music Length. Play. Save File. The Final Music Video file can now be uploaded to YouTube or Vimeo.

7) Export: Select File Export and select 1920x1080 (1080p HD Format). No Cropping needed as the video were already shot in 16:9 format. Name the Export “Time-Lapse-Final.mov”. This Final Video file can now be uploaded to YouTube or Vimeo.

Meta’s Best Time Lapse Photography Camera Settings

Camera: Sony a99 II Digital Camera or Sony a77 II Digital Camera
Lens: Minolta AF 50mm f/1.4
Tripod: Slik Pro 700 DX Tripod with Intervalometer
Camera Mode: Manual Mode
ISO: ISO 100
Aperture: f/2.8
Focus: Manual Focus (Tape Focusing Ring with Gaff Tape)
Filter: 3-Stop and CPL Filter
Shutter Speed: 1/15th to 1/10th Shutter Speed (Slower Adds Slight Motion Blur)


Meta's Best Digital Photography Tips For BeginnersAd • Minolta Lenses – Did you know that Amazon sells Used Minolta Lenses? You can buy Like New or Mint Condition Minolta Lenses directly from Professional Camera Shops in the USA and Japan on Amazon! Meta has purchased many of her Best Minolta Lenses directly from Amazon.

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