Time lapse photography is an art and the medium you use to bring it to life is what sets you apart from everyone else. The intricacy in the technique of this type of photography is underrated by many. Time lapses take time, patience, and discipline from the photographer and it shows in the quality of work delivered.
Time lapses, on average, are 15 second videos that show the progression of a subject. The best way to capture this journey is by using a Canon G7X Camera. With this camera as your medium, you are given the chance to explore more than just the subject, but everything else that surrounds it.
The most common time lapse is the sun setting. However, what most people fail to realize is that it’s not just the sun that makes the video come to life. It’s the beaches that accompany the sunset, the change in color of the sky from blue to burnt orange, and even the movement of the clouds.
Movement can be captured by any average camera but, it takes a well-made, fast focusing, still capturing camera to provide a smooth display of movement in a video. A choppy video cannot do justice to a beautiful sunset that changes the colors in the sky like a blend of colors on an artist’s pallet.
Your regular phone camera would not be able to capture such a beautiful moment and ensure its beauty is justified. You need a high-quality camera and the next five tips to create extraordinary time lapses.
Lighting Of Your Subject
An important note to make is that lighting in any type of photography is important. However, time lapses rely on the type of light on the subject. With natural time lapses like a video of the sunset, in most cases, you only have one shot. Lighting affects the quality of the final product even if you are using the Canon G7X Camera with a 4K UHD capture.
For outdoor shots of a person, animal, or even an inanimate object, the best lighting would be natural – no added rings lights nor flashes. The best time to get these shots is during Golden Hour, dawn and dusk. This provides and effortless glow to the subject due to the warm light. For a brighter shot of these subjects, noon would be ideal. The best way to get the time lapse to look high quality is facing the subject parallel to the light. This way, no visible, unflattering, shadows are produced, and all the light is on the subject. To shoot this, you would shoot from the side of your subject, or in the front just hovered down to ensure the light is not blocked.
Inside lighting gets more difficult as the average household light bulb does not aid in producing a good quality shot. Places with warmer bulbs can mimic the glow of Golden Hour. Your phone’s flashlight can also provide a helpful source in ensuring brightness is emitted in the shot.
Keep Your Focus On The Subject
When doing a time lapse, the photographer needs to know that movement is a key factor that can make or break a video. This is important because you can commence with a camera in focus but as the subject moves throughout the video, the camera moves out of focus and the lighting changes.
The Canon G7X Camera provides full resolution 20 frames-per-second bursts using fixed auto-focus to ensure the subject is the main focal point throughout the time lapse. This feature allows the subject to have free range of movement and still be the center of attention.
Aside from having a high-quality camera, a good way of keeping the focus on your subject is by strategically placing them. Outside shoots can be prone to having wind and shade problems. Ensure your subject is facing the light and they don’t block the light or move towards it which can make the camera unfocused resulting in a shift from bright lights on the subject to a fully bright camera screen. In the event of wind, shooting near tall trees or tall buildings can serve as a wind breaker.
Inside shoots are easier to keep your camera focused as there are less unaccountable factors to work with. Inside, you can focus on the angle of the subject which includes movement, posture and position, and you can tweak the elements to your liking. Here, you can really set everything up (props, background, equipment) and ensure they stay there. Same camera-subject rules apply, keep a steady hand and place camera a few feet away from the subject.
Your Position Matters
After giving directions to your model or placing your subject, you have to keep in mind that your actions affect the quality of the shoot.
The Canon G7X is a sleekly designed, compact, fit-in-your-hand design that ensures mobility and ease of access. With a camera like this, you are able to focus on your position and angles more instead of lugging around a heavy, bulky camera that can’t do half as much.
Your subject is now relying on you to tie the bow on the whole production and ensure a quality final product. In video time lapses, a steady hand is key. If you choose to hold your camera you need to support your hand so you will need to rest it on a table, your lap, or support your elbow and arm on a nearby pole, tree, or tall structure to ensure stability.
If you choose to shoot the sky and leave the camera on the ground, you have to place the camera within view of the screen so you can track the movements of the subject. You also need to find a flat, dry surface to allow no camera damage. In addition to that, also cater for soil type, bugs, sand and wind by placing your camera on a blanket.
In other cases, it might not be you, it might be the camera’s angle. Camera support can be obtained by rolling up the blanket so that the camera may rest in an angle to capture the subject above it. Other times a tree, pole, or table can work.
The More The Merrier
Some time lapse videos entail capturing the growth or progression of its subject through a series of pictures, merged together to form a video. The way photographers do this is by ensuring the subject is in the same place throughout the duration of the shoot as well as having the camera be in the same place. You may also move the angle of the camera through the duration of the shoot to get all angles of the subject in the final product.
Getting the perfect angle is always a tedious task because you have to capture the right moment to ensure the final product is well sewn together seamlessly.
The easiest way to get the best picture is by taking multiple picture at the same time of the same thing. This way, you get more options. Sometimes even when you look back at your pictures, they might not be the shot you wanted.
With the Canon G7X Camera, you get the 30 fps RAW-only burst mode feature which means the camera starts capturing the subject about 3 seconds prior to pressing the shutter button. This helps to get the shots that you want but, if the final picture is not what you wanted, you can always get the 3 second shot prior to your finger pressing the shutter button.
The more shots of the subject bring new concepts to the table. Your access to the 3 seconds of raw, unaltered footage prior to your actual capturing shot, allows you to have more content to work with and it allows a seamless transition to the next shot.
Use Your Surroundings
In the art of photography, little to nothing can be traditionally planned but you have to be prepared for anything. The beauty in this art is by making use of what you have and creating a phenomenal final product.
The Canon G7X camera is powered by a NB-13L battery pack allowing 320 shots in ECO Mode. By having a camera with a long battery life, you are able to successfully capture the beauty of the shoot without having to rush your work because of a time limit.
This allows you to utilize the surroundings of the shoot to ensure success.
Use the ground as a different perspective of the subject. Placing your camera low and allowing it to run while you take your shots gives you a candid view from an unexpected perspective.
You can use a stick placed into the ground to balance your camera for a higher point-of-view in a low perspective shot. Inside, you can use windowsills and the tops of lamps to balance your camera and not block the light source.
When shooting at night, you can use a flashlight or your car’s light for the shot. Street shots can get a source of lighting and extra characteristics from sign lights (open and closed signs, the name of the building, or billboards). Street shots can even use streetlights as aid.
Overall, this technique is finding a spot to shoot and utilizing what the location has to offer. Using the surroundings helps to give you a feel of where you are, and more ideas start flowing when you use what you have.
With the Canon G7X, your options are endless!