Time-lapse photography is quite in vogue nowadays. More and more photographers are developing their interest in learning this excellent niche. Simply stated, time-lapses capture several shots of the same scene during a specified period.
The ordered combination of these shots results in a dynamic video that feels like it’s being played on fast forward. Such a video shows us those minor changes that kept on happening to the object in focus and changed it entirely.
Time-lapses are offer unique and magnificent views of everyday events that we otherwise rarely get to appreciate. This is something that has undoubtedly contributed to the fame of this type of photography. A lot of people want to ace at time-lapse captures and are ready to go to any extent to learn.
Many like to think that an expensive DSLR is the only thing they need to fulfill such a desire. The truth is, there are a number of tips and tricks that you must master if you really want to create great time-lapses using your camera.
Speaking of the camera, consider yourself lucky if you own the Nikon D7000. It is currently one of the best cameras that you can trust for great time-lapses. With features like efficient interval shooting, 1080 pixels HD recording, perfect 39 point Auto Focus, all new sensors, 3D tracking, powerful batteries, and excellent color resolution, the 16.2MP Nikon D7000 can create efficient time-lapses.
Below are some tips that you can use with your D7000 to gain further time-lapse photography expertise. Following these tips will surely make capturing time-lapses a fun and easy art for you.
Lock Your Focus
If you’ve ever captured time-lapses before, you would surely know how important the stillness and persistence of the camera are to create the perfect time-lapses. If you haven’t used a camera for time-lapses yet, it’s essential that you know the golden rule of time-lapse creation.
A time-lapse can only be aced if our camera has been kept still for a long time and is capturing precisely the same frame all the time. Other than the frame, your camera’s exposure should remain consistent throughout, and your focus should also not change at all.
Even a minor alteration in any of these things during the time-lapse shot can ruin the entire film. Therefore, all the beginners in time-lapse photography must know about locking the focus on their camera. If you’re using your Nikon D7000 for time-lapses, you can easily lock the focus in multiple ways.
First, decide what exact point in the frame you want your camera’s lens to focus on. You can fix the exact focus either manually or can use D7000’s excellent and super-fast autofocus feature. Once the focus is set, turn off the Auto Focus mode if it’s on.
This keeps the focus from shifting even slightly throughout the time-lapse shots and keeps it intact where you’ve yourself fixed it. This way, your final time-lapse would come out perfectly smooth, with no shifting focuses and bumps at all.
Some photographers also use added precautions to keep the focus from shifting. One of the most common approaches is to use tape to seal the focus rings of the camera on its place. Using Nikon D7000, you don’t really need to do any such thing if you’ve correctly turned off the Auto Focus mode. However, you can still use such secondary tips to your benefit if you want.
No matter what kind of photography or videography you aim to learn and practice, getting comfortable with your camera is the first step to using it well. You can’t expect to get immediate results from your camera just because you invested a considerable chunk of money in it. Instead, you need to first get used to its working and modes, which comes with practicing photography using that specific camera.
Time-lapse photography also means you’re taking a shot over a long period of time. This is in contrast to other types of photography where you’re done with a single click. Hence, you also need to be comfortable with being able to hold and work the camera for a prolonged period.
Many photographers think that learning to hold the camera in the most comfortable position and learning its basic usage is the only skill needed. However, the idea of comfort with a camera goes a long way. You can only consider yourself comfortable working with your D7000 when you learn almost all of its pro-level settings and modes.
Thankfully, this camera is quite a user-friendly option. Learning things like long exposure, ISO and interval settings, multi-exposures, and active D-lighting is relatively easy to do on this Nikon camera. Make sure you’re good enough to quickly fix all these settings on your D7000 whenever you head out for time-lapse sessions.
Use RAW Format
Most novice time-lapse photographers find it beneficial to store their numerous time-lapse shots in low-bit color depth and JPEG format. This saves them a lot of memory card space and, therefore, naturally feels an excellent option for them. It’s only after they sit down to edit that they realize how average the quality of their shots is. This leads them to regret their format choices but it’s too late then.
If you want to capture a time-lapse that shows each and every detail in the perfect possible color resolution, we urge you to use RAW format for picture storing. Saving in this format might take up a lot of your camera’s memory, but you’ll later thank yourself for this choice. RAW format shots have a lot of image data, thus giving you more options when editing.
Nikon D7000’s RAW setup is easy and quite comprehensive too. You can simply go to your shooting menu and turn on the RAW storage. You can also determine if the RAW data on your Nikon D7000 is being compressed and can see the color depth too.
The best color depth to go for with your RAW D7000 captures is either 12-bit or 14-bit. However, you can select the depth according to your shooting modes and what exactly is being captured.
Keep Batteries Charged
This tip itself explains its importance. Time-lapse photographers need to keep their cameras all on and working for long hours. Sometimes, you might want to keep your camera on throughout the day or night to get a pro-level time-lapse.
The fact that your camera is capturing after every few seconds or a minute automatically explains the immense power requirements that a time-lapse shooting session comes with. You can probably imagine the annoyance that would come with your camera turning off during a perfect time-lapse’s creation. Not only it ruins the shots already taken but might also delete them in some cases.
Therefore, it’s better to keep your cameras’ batteries fully charged when capturing time-lapses. A fully charged battery helps you finish the time-lapse shot exactly when you want to. Not only this, but it also saves you from the extreme annoyance that can otherwise ruin your day.
The Nikon D7000 is a good option for time-lapses if seen in terms of its battery life. It comes with an all-new EL15 lithium-ion battery that is good enough to last you two days. However, if you’re going to shoot a lengthy time-lapse, your Nikon D7000’s power usage might be intense. There’s no harm in keeping an extra battery or power bank at your hand in such a case.
We warn you, don’t try this unless you are adept at time-lapse creations, and have been doing it for a long time.
Although we’ve previously advocated the idea of keeping your camera still for a time-lapse, moving it a little bit won’t do much harm. In fact, if you move your camera very slowly and subtly during a time-lapse shoot, you can end up with an even more fantastic final product.
No, we aren’t asking you to change the frame entirely or shift from horizontal to vertical. Just subtly tilt your camera during the shoot upwards, downwards, a little left, or a little right depending upon what you need to focus on in your final creation. Adding motion to your camera in a subtle way can help make the end results look even better than you’ve imagined.
Following this tip requires a lot of precision and carefulness on the part of the photographer. Even when there’s a lot of equipment that can help you add subtle motion to your shooting camera, you yourself have to be careful enough. Make sure that you don’t move the camera so obviously that it ruins your entire time-lapse.
Your Nikon D7000 can come in quite handy here as well. It is a lightweight, medium-sized, and an easy to hold camera that you can quickly move a bit every now and then during the entire shoot. This camera also allows you to fix the focus efficiently. This makes sure that any subtle movement does not ruin the natural flow of your time-lapse’s images at the end.