Creating a timelapse can be daunting especially if you don’t have the right gear to do it. Also, more important than the gear is your subject and framing. Since a timelapse is a collection of photos taken over a long period of time, it is important that you get your settings right the first time as well.
Having the wrong settings and going back to look at your photos after a 5-hour timelapse only to see blurred or out of focus subject makes all the effort useless.
In this post, I am going to show you how to create a timelapse and make sure you get the right settings done the first time around.
Timelapse has been around for a long time and the first time I saw one on TV, I was fascinated by how movement was portrayed by photos shot in long intervals. They make such a good impression that something is done so smoothly even though in reality it took that process hours to complete.
Most timelapses you will see involves landscape photography especially one that involves the clouds because of how clouds are shown to make smooth movements across the sky. A timelapse is not limited to landscapes, so anything you can think about that takes a long to process to complete will make a good subject for a timelapse.
Now that we have a thought of what a timelapse is let’s start with the first step to creating one.
Creating a Timelapse Using Nikon D5500
- Turn your camera on (of course) and press the Menu Button to the left of the viewfinder.
- In the Menu, go to the Shooting Menu which is the camera icon just to the bottom of the Playback Menu.
- At the very bottom of the Shooting Menu is an option called Interval timer shooting. Press or select this option. Interval timer shooting lets you take photographs automatically at a specified interval. Only one picture is taken at each interval. Interval timer shooting cannot be used with bracketing, or HDR (high dynamic range).
- Once in the Interval timer shooting menu, you have 5 options to choose from.
- Start – Start with the current settings
- Start Options – Either start Now or Choose start day and start time (this is good for time-delayed shots)
- Interval – The three options represents (from left to right) hours, minutes, and seconds. This will determine the frequency of when the camera will take a shot for you.
- Number of times – This will let the camera determine how many shots before it stops shooting photos.
- Exposure Smoothing – The camera adjusts exposure to ensure that it will not differ significantly from the exposure for the previous frame. (This is not advisable if you are shooting short-interval shots because the camera will have to adjust the exposure of the photo first before shooting the next one. This is good for day to night or night to day timelapse.
- Set your desired options as you see fit for the project you want to make.
- Once you are happy with your settings, just press start to initiate shooting photos for your timelapse and just press the OK button on your camera if you want to stop shooting the timelapse.
- After you’ve taken all your photos, you can now import them into your preferred video editing software like Premiere Pro, LR Timelapse, and other softwares as well. Here are a few free ones which you can use: Panolapse, SkyStudioPro, and Chronolapse.
- Just import the images as a sequence by selecting the first image and select Image Sequence.
- All that’s left for you to do now is to process your video and export it into the format you like.