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A tutorial I put together back in 2007. It covers how to shoot a timelapse using a DSLR and intevelometer. The tutorial covers everything from settings you should use to making the time-lapse video in quicktime.

Originally published here: digitalartwork.net/​2007/​01/​30/​time-lapse-tutorial/​

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  • Tom 9 months ago
    Thanks much - this managed to address a number of questions I have had about timelapse photography.
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  • Sebasti├ín Latorre 9 months ago
    ultra useful!!! thnx man!!!! excelent tutorial!!!
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  • Michael Lapp plus 9 months ago
    This was online somewhere else, I remember watching it. Thanks for bringing it here though, always good to look back on.
  • Zach Wise plus 9 months ago
    Yeah, I put the tutorial together back in 2007 for my website. digitalartwork.net/​2007/​01/​30/​time-lapse-tutorial/​
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  • tun thet oo 9 months ago
    Really really a great video tutorial.
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  • Emma Louis plus 9 months ago
    Nice job, thanks
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  • Butch Cooper 9 months ago
    Great tutorial can you recommend a good neautral density filter for my EOS 500d? what one did you use?

    Thanks
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  • Mark Welker plus 9 months ago
    Very useful Zach. I always wondered how to get that blurred effect to the movement - makes perfect sense.
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  • pablo. photographer. 9 months ago
    I don't recommend Cokin filters; plastic, loss in sharpness, nasty purple cast, just bad quality.
    I haven't tried others but I have Cokin's system and I REALLY Dislike it.
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  • Ryan Sereno 9 months ago
    is it possible to use the canon pc camera interface instead of the intevelometer?
  • Zach Wise plus 8 months ago
    I've seen some mac programs that can drive the camera for timelapse. There are even several iphone apps to control your computer that control the camera.
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  • Armand Salmon 8 months ago
    Great tutorial, I was seeing so many great time-lapse final products without the exact 'how-to' to go along with it.

    Can you explain the 'drag your shutter'. You seem to emphasize it strongly, and while I see the difference in blips, I am not sure exactly what you mean.
  • Dave Green plus 7 months ago
    I second that, Armand. Only confusing part of an otherwise excellent tutorial!
  • Zach Wise plus 7 months ago
    Dragging the shutter simply means slowing it down. For example 1/10th instead of 1/30th.
  • Dave Green plus 7 months ago
    Any recommended shutter speeds you tend to run with more than most Zach?
  • Pat Leal 13 hours ago
    Can you further explain in detail what dragging your shutter means? Like show the viewfinder in live mode on a 7d and from left to right point out shutter setting values, iso settings, fstop etc. and show the settings you use to create good timelapse shots for sunrises vs sunsets. Great tutorial, but this dragging your shutter thing is still confusing to me and I don't get how to program the intervalometer settings either. A tutorial on intervalometer setting use and canon 7d settings would be highly useful for a amateur like me? Or can you email me instructions? Thanks. -syfella@gmail.com
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  • Rahul Dutta 8 months ago
    thanx ...very nicly explaned ...iam gonna try this rite now :) :)
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  • Lory Coulson 8 months ago
    Thank you
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  • Rahul Dutta 8 months ago
    17676752 ... my 1st test :) ...pls do comment ...id like to improve
  • Zach Wise plus 8 months ago
    It's a good first try! What were your settings?
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  • Rahul Dutta 8 months ago
    Canon EOS 5D mark II , 16-35 lens @ 16mm , ISO 500 , f3.5 , 1/4 sec , timer set at every 2 sec , auto white balance ( as suggested by you ) .

    Iam now gonna try a daylight shot soon .... Thanx buddy ...it was fun learning :) :)
  • Zach Wise plus 8 months ago
    I think the results would look at little better if you can change the exposure time from 1/4 sec to close to 1sec every 2 seconds.
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  • Rahul Dutta 8 months ago
    Yup that's what I also felt ...iam gonna try it soon . Thanx for all the input & this tutorial ...it was a big help for a "new video buff" like me :p
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  • Rahul Dutta 8 months ago
    hey Zach .......i made something for u

    vimeo.com/​17698509
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  • Serge Berrard 8 months ago
    Very well done! thanks for sharing!
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  • Mark Tierney 8 months ago
    Thanks Zach!
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  • Greg Keegan 8 months ago
    Thanks for sharing this! This is helpful! :)
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  • Lorene Amet plus 8 months ago
    Very good tutorial, clear, illustrative, stimulating. I'll get this remote controller, fantastic inspiration!
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  • Andrey Polukarov 8 months ago
    thanx
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  • Alexander Mohr 8 months ago
    are there other softwares ?
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  • Dave Green plus 7 months ago
    Could you elaborate on the shutter dragging?

    I'm new to timelapse, have a 7D. Is it just a case of higher shutter = sharper image and slower shutter = blurred image as it would be with normal shooting?
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  • crediton media 7 months ago
    what do you mean by drag the shutter < i have a sony a200 can do this to my sony a200
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  • Matt Mitchell 6 months ago
    hey zach, about to do a time lapse for three days, sunrise to sunset, most likely multiple cameras. was wondering what your longest timelapse was, and how you deal with compensating for intense changes in light, as well as locking off camera while still able to change batteries and media. thanks in advance
  • Zach Wise plus 6 months ago
    It gets a lot more complicated when you deal with days worth of time. For intense light changes, some people have been using Little Bramper thewhippersnapper.com/​LittleBramper/​Site/​Home.html
    I haven't used it yet so I can't comment about it. As far as batteries etc, you can use the ac adapter that canon sells or just time your battery swaps in between frames.
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  • Kombo Chapfika plus 5 months ago
    Great toot, I just followed these instructions to produce my very first time lapse.

    Thanks!
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  • CAP2010films 4 months ago
    Zach many thanks. Informative and interesting. A question... assuming we're making a full HD clip, so 1920 x 1080 resolution, which is a ratio of 16:9 of course. The still images we're using for the timelapse will be far higher in resolution than this (e.g. 5184 x 3456 in the case of "Large" setting with my Canon 550d/T2i). So as you say, we re-size using Quicktime Pro. However when you do, and make the sequence of stills 1920 x 1080, it gets squished slightly, as the originals were not in a ratio of 16:9 and are being forced to accommodate that ratio. That's what seems to happen when I follow your suggested workflow. Have I done something wrong? Your clip fades to black just as you enter the custom value for the re-size so |i am not sure what you chose. Is there a workaround you use? Thanks
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  • Ricardo Villalobos 4 months ago
    Super useful tuto...just what I was looking for.
    Thanks for sharing.
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  • EidFilms 3 months ago
    Super useful. This was featured as a post on timelapse-video.net
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  • 360 Productions 3 months ago
    just curious, why did you choose your output to be 15fps in the end?
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  • Alex E 3 months ago
    Great, thanks Zach!
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  • Bobak Radbin plus 2 months ago
    Hi, this is awesome thnx for sharing this great tutorial. Just had a questions do you shoot in manual mode keeping your shutter speed, and aperture the same all the way, or do you shoot in aperture, or shutter priority?
    Thanks a lot,
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  • Matias Causa 2 months ago
    Thats great! Just adding to your tutorial, you can do the timelapse movies conecting your camera to a notebook. Details here:
    dianublado.com.ar/​2011/​04/​time-lapse-in-my-life.html
    and my test here:
    behance.net/​gallery/​Time-Lapse-Project/​1591897
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  • t.a. barnhart plus 2 months ago
    if you're going to use a term like "drag your shutter" you need to define what that means. i've never heard it before, and so the entire portion of the video based on that phrase is meaningless until i stop & go research the phrase. if you're going to provide a tutorial, you can't assume those who need the tutorial understand the jargon.
  • Pat Leal 13 hours ago
    truth
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  • Marvin Washington 1 month ago
    great tutorial thx for inspiring us all

    here's my first attempt I think i forgot to turn the AWB off. I'm still learning

    vimeo.com/​26446341
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  • Gary Thomson 23 days ago
    Hi Zack, excellent tutorial, I put up my first attempt at time lapse today and add a credit to you for your tutorial, very bright day when I shot it so I should have used a ND filter to "Drag my Shutter down"
    Thanks
    Gary
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