Shooting Time Lapse Photography - A Comprehensive Guide

Sep 28, 2023


In today's fast-paced digital world, time lapse photography has gained immense popularity, captivating audiences with its ability to condense hours or even days into a few seconds of engaging visuals. From capturing mesmerizing sunsets to documenting construction progress, time lapse photography allows businesses and individuals to create visually stunning content that stands out among the crowd.

The Art of Time Lapse Photography

Time lapse photography is the technique of capturing a series of photos at regular intervals and combining them to create a video sequence. It provides a unique perspective, showcasing the passage of time in a condensed and visually mesmerizing manner.

To excel in shooting time lapse photography, it is crucial to understand the necessary techniques, equipment, and tips that can help you capture breathtaking footage.

Techniques for Shooting Time Lapse Photography

1. Choose the Right Interval: Time lapse intervals vary depending on the subject and desired effect. Shorter intervals of a few seconds are ideal for capturing fast-moving objects, while longer intervals of several minutes work well for slower changes in the scene.

2. Set Up Stable Tripod: Stability is crucial in time lapse photography to avoid shaky footage. Invest in a sturdy tripod that can withstand outdoor conditions and keep your camera steady throughout the capture process.

3. Compose Your Frame: Pay attention to the composition of your shot. Consider the rule of thirds, leading lines, and other principles of photography to create visually appealing and balanced frames.

4. Use Manual Settings: Shooting in manual mode enables you to have full control over your camera settings, including aperture, shutter speed, and ISO. Experiment with different settings to achieve the desired outcome.

5. Monitor Lighting Conditions: Lighting plays a vital role in any form of photography. Keep an eye on changing light conditions, especially during sunrise, sunset, or transitions from day to night. Adjust your camera settings accordingly to maintain consistent exposure.

6. Consider ND Filters: Neutral Density (ND) filters help reduce the amount of light entering the camera, allowing you to achieve longer shutter speeds even in bright settings. This technique is useful for capturing smooth motion blurs and adding a dreamy effect to your time lapse.

7. Capture Movement: Incorporating movement within your time lapse adds a dynamic element to your footage. Experiment with using panning or motorized sliders to introduce linear or rotational motion to your frames.

8. Plan for Post-Processing: Shooting time lapse sequences often involves capturing hundreds or even thousands of images. Ensure you have sufficient storage space and plan for efficient post-processing workflow to merge and edit the images seamlessly.

Essential Equipment for Time Lapse Photography

1. DSLR or Mirrorless Camera: A camera with manual controls and interchangeable lenses provides the flexibility needed for capturing high-quality time lapse sequences. Look for models with reliable intervalometer functions.

2. Sturdy Tripod: Invest in a reliable tripod that can withstand different weather conditions and keep your camera steady throughout the capture process. Stability is key to obtaining sharp and seamless time lapse footage.

3. Intervalometer or Remote Shutter Release: An intervalometer allows you to set the desired interval between shots and automate the capture process. Alternatively, a remote shutter release enables you to control the camera without physically touching it, reducing any potential vibrations.

4. ND Filters: Neutral Density filters help control the amount of light entering the camera, allowing for longer exposures and capturing smooth movements. Different filters offer various levels of light reduction, so choose according to your shooting conditions.

5. Extra Batteries and Memory Cards: Time lapse photography can quickly drain battery life and fill up memory cards. Always carry spare batteries and memory cards to avoid missing out on crucial shots.

Tips for Shooting Time Lapse Photography

1. Scout the Location: Before starting your time lapse, visit the shooting location to assess any potential obstructions, lighting conditions, and possible compositions. Planning ahead ensures that you capture the best possible footage.

2. Experiment with Angles and Perspectives: Don't be afraid to think outside the box and try unconventional angles or perspectives. Changing the viewpoint can add depth and uniqueness to your time lapse sequences.

3. Test and Refine: Practice makes perfect when it comes to time lapse photography. Experiment with different settings and techniques, review your footage, and make adjustments as necessary to achieve your desired results.

4. Consider the Story: Time lapse photography allows you to tell compelling visual stories. Think about the narrative or message you want to convey through your footage and plan your shots accordingly.

5. Edit Mindfully: Post-processing is a crucial step in time lapse photography. Use quality editing software to combine and refine your sequence, paying attention to color grading, exposure adjustments, and smooth transitions.

6. Share Your Work: Once you have created stunning time lapse footage, share it with the world. Utilize social media platforms and online communities to showcase your work and gain exposure.


Mastering the art of shooting time lapse photography requires a combination of technical skills, creative vision, and meticulous planning. By understanding the techniques, equipment, and tips discussed in this comprehensive guide, you can unleash your creativity and capture mesmerizing visuals that will engage and captivate your audience.

Whether you are an advertising professional or a video/film production enthusiast, is your go-to resource for all things related to shooting time lapse photography. With a range of services and expertise in advertising and video/film production, Bonomotion can provide valuable insights, tools, and solutions to take your time lapse photography to the next level.

Sara Villalpando
Incredible visual magic!
Nov 7, 2023
Tiffany Fox
This guide helped me capture breathtaking moments with ease!
Oct 29, 2023
Tom Pretty
This guide is so enlightening! 🌟📸
Oct 26, 2023
Nicholas Valente
This guide is mind-blowing!
Oct 21, 2023
Robert Sansone
I can't believe I didn't know about time lapse before! So excited to try it out!
Oct 15, 2023
Bryan Wedan
This guide was a total game-changer! 📸 Thanks for the tips!
Oct 13, 2023
Michael Botte
That guide was a game-changer! Now I can capture extraordinary moments and create captivating visuals. Thanks for sharing!
Oct 6, 2023
George Forgen
Such a helpful guide! 📸 Thank you for sharing!
Oct 3, 2023