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How to Make Your Timelapse Video Stand Out

Below I’ll give you 5 surefire ways to help you do just that.

By: Garrett Graham + Save to a List

Timelapse’s are impressive in their own right, but they are becoming more and more common. Most cameras now have a time-lapse mode built in. Heck even my phone has a time-lapse mode. So if you want to stand out from the crowd you need to stretch your creative arms. 

1. Go from Day to Night or Night to Day

Traditional timelapses compress a long period of time into a short period and usually only take place during day or night. Not both. A great way to grab eyes, is to transition from one to the other. While this is definitely an advanced project there is a piece of software which will make your job a lot easier. LRTimelapse takes care of all the exposure adjustments needed to transition from light to dark. They offer a free trial and have an amazing library of tutorials. I’m not an expert on the software so I’ll let Rob from 52things explain.

2. Have a Moving and a Still Element

Timelapses are all about the passage of time. You can really highlight that passage if you feature a moving and still object. If you have cars passing your camera on the road, have a person stand still in the frame to draw attention to them. If clouds are passing overhead have a rock formation steady in your shot. This helps draw attention to both the still and moving objects and give an overall sense of speed.

3. Set up a Vertical Timelapse

Long story short, not all time-lapses need to be shot in landscape. 

4. Make It a Hyperlapse

This is another advanced technique. Basically you are making a timelapse plus moving the camera while keeping an object in the same place in the frame. Eric Stemen can explain it better than I ever can.

5. Slower Shutter Speed

You know by now timelapses are all about the passage of time. But a camera has the ability to freeze time in a few different ways. If you use a fast shutter speed, like 1/200th of a second, people or cars will be perfectly frozen in place and will pop in and out of your final video. If you use a slow shutter speed, like 1 second, people and cars will streak through the frame like ghosts. Play with the shutter speed to find one that works for your needs. Jay from the The Slanted Lens has a great tutorial of what I’m talking about. 

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