How to make a time lapse film

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How to Make a Simple and Cheap Time-lapse Film using a Digital Stills Camera.
You will need:
Digital Camera with Movie function.
An Editing Program.

Time-lapse photography is a cinematography technique whereby each film frame is captured at a rate much slower than it will be played back. When replayed at normal speed, time appears to be moving faster and thus lapsing.

The best way to make a simple time lapse is as follows:

Set your digital camera on a tripod or flat surface and focus on a slow moving object like clouds.

Take one still photo every minute being careful not to move the camera as this will have the effect of giving a jerky finish to your finished film.

Twenty minutes later you should have 20 shots of the same scene. Download to your computer and edit them as you see fit.

Next you need a way to put them together and the cheapest way I have found this is by using QuickTime (available with iTunes) or Slide show to go a shareware program that does the same thing but with more control.

Enter the pictures into the chosen edit program in the order they were taken and set the duration to either (QuickTime 2 per second) or slide show to go (250ms).

Create the movie and this will give you a final QuickTime version of a 10 second movie in quick time or a 4 second movie in Slide show to Go.

The more you experiment with time lapse in locations and editing the more fascinating this technique can be. Try adjusting the time between shooting and the editing time between displaying.

Conclusion: using a intervalometer and more.

Making interesting timelapse films can be quite demanding on patience and skills. Start with something simple and reasonably fast changing like sunsets. The more you experiment the more techniques you will discover. For more complicated and slower changing films you can use an "intervalometer" which is a device which counts intervals of time. Sometimes laptops can be used for this. A tripod or stand would also be useful.

I have just tried to give a working explanation of how you can make one of these films and you can see the results of one above. This took about an hour and a half including photography and editing and shows how easily they can be created with the minimum of equipment.

Experiment and enjoy!

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