Time-lapse p.3

settings, sound & movement
everything is set manually!

Shooting for a time-lapse movie has to be under our control. Thus, for the duration of shooting, the camera's automatic control must be switched off - this applies to exposure, focus and white balance. These three elements must be measured and set permanently before shooting. Otherwise, we risk changing something in the camera between the shots and our efforts will go to waste. In addition, almost everything changes, to mention only the color temperature of the lighting.

In the case of each time-lapse movie, one of the biggest challenges facing the photographer is to set the exposition so that despite the changing lighting conditions of the scene, the shot from the beginning to the end looks good.

It's easier to say than to do. Setting parameters (especially exposure) of photos for changing conditions over time is not easy. That is why proper preparations are critical - we need to know more or less what exposure will be optimal, so that at certain point in the film the scene will not be burned or underexposed. It is not always possible to avoid this, because in some cases the scene may, for example, suddenly darken due to changes in lighting conditions, and we will be unable to do anything about it. When shooting outdoors, we will experience problems analogous to those encountered by panorama photographers, but on a much larger scale - these problems will be stretched in time.

In turn, the shooting of time-lapse in studio brings with it different challenges: sudden and minor changes in lighting between successive frames. Too tiny to be noticed, but enough to make the image on the film clearly shimmering. This phenomenon is particularly troublesome during the production of a film showing the world on a microscopic scale - for example presenting the growth of plants. Therefore, such projects should ideally be shot in full isolation, with completely artificial and fully controlled lighting, and for the shooting duration simply leave the studio and lock it up.

time-lapse movie should have soundtrack and other features of the film

Even the best time-lapse animation will not impress if presented in an unattractive manner. The background music is an absolute foundation - it should be adapted to the film both in terms of climate and duration. It is also good that its rhythm should be reflected in the rhythm of the shots being viewed. Enriching the project with an initial and final frame as well as various types of adds may also be welcome. You should remember about the moderation and good taste.

It's also not worth limiting yourself to just one shot. The best and most amazing photographic time-lapse animations are productions composed of shots and sequences assembled in accordance with the rules of film art.

how to add a bit of movement in a simple way

Many time-lapse movies contain elements of camera movement. Real movement of this type requires the use of special equipment - devices that will precisely move and rotate the camera with a little pace between subsequent frames in accordance with the previously prepared schedule. However, certain movements can be simulated in the post processing phase due to the fact that the original photographic image is characterized by much larger dimensions than the target video image. This in turn allows you to imitate the drive and rotation of the camera, i.e. panning. The exact way to implement these effects depends on the software itself, but from a technical point of view it is not too complicated. The real challenge is somewhere else: the effect obtained differs from the actual operator operations to the same extent as the transformation of the photographic frame obtained by manipulating the focal length of the lens differs from what we get moving with the camera physically forward or backward between successive photos.

The point is that the digital manipulation effects can be easily disclosed when the viewer knows that as a result of the "camera" movement, the objects visible in the frame should also move relative to each other - and they do not. Therefore, it is best to use similar treatments to a very limited extent and for shots that do not have a multi-focal structure with a large depth of field.

get inspired!

What can be documented by the time-lapse technique? In reality - everything. The plants and their growth are a great subject for time-lapse. You can shoot such a movie at home or in a photo studio, which additionally makes the film a great opportunity for training.

Sunrise and sunsets as well as weather phenomena are frequent topics of films made using the time-lapse technique. No surprise - the beauty of these views seen at an accelerated pace is simply gorgeous.

Let's get inspired and remember that the only limit is our imagination.
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