My first constant exposure time lapse taken from Kameeldoring treehouse in Mokala National Park
If you are shooting your first time lapse then a good place to start is a time lapse where the exposure (light conditions) do not change or change very little over the course of the time lapse. This type of time lapse is relatively straight forward. It just requires finding an interesting subject and adjusting your intial camera settings for the correct exposure. For this sort of time lapse, keep it simple and shoot in JPEG mode and use the free Picasa software to render the images into a video file.
Here's a few tips to help get you started.
-Decide what you are going to photograph
-Decide on the frame rate (image interval) according to what you are shooting
-Fast moving objects – 0.5 to 5 seconds
-Slower moving objects – 5 to 15 seconds
-Very slow, low light shooting – 10 to 30 seconds
-Remember that your shutter speed is limited by your frame rate and the time it takes your camera to get ready for the next shot. E.g. If your frame rate is 10 seconds, your longest possible exposure will be about 8 seconds when you include about 2 seconds for your camera to prepare for the next shot. If you are transitioning from light to dark, this becomes really important as it will impact on your ability to change the ISO, aperture and shutter speed between images.
-Set camera to manual mode
-Turn off AWB (Auto White Balance) by changing it to the most suitable manual setting
-Reduce JPEG image size if you have a small memory card or space limitations on your computer. You cannot go below your video output resolution though e.g. HD video is 1920 * 1080.
-Turn off image/lens stabilization (avoids small movements in the lens)
-Set desired aperture
-Place camera on tripod
-Use sandbags to secure/stabilize the tripod if it is windy
-Focus on subject and then turn off autofocus (avoids small changes in focus)
-Take test photos and adjust ISO and shutter speed for correct exposure
-Set your frame rate on your built-in or external intervalometer (remote shutter release)
-Set the number of frames you want to take. Or just select the infinity option and let it run until you choose to stop the time lapse.
Post production using Picasa to render your JPEGs into time lapse video is really simple. Just follow the steps below: