Time-lapse photography has seen a considerable increase in fans over the past few months. Photographers, both novice and experts, are ready to go at every length to master this unique niche of photography.
A time-lapse’s ability to show us some of the most fascinating transitions in time up close and in detail is probably what makes it so popular and appreciated. Many people have reported the soothing ability of nature time-lapses as something that helps them feel relaxed after a tiring and long day. Others love time-lapses because they uniquely combine images into fast-forwarded videos, beautifully blending in different time frames.
Contrary to popular belief, acing at time-lapse photography is not just a matter of a perfect camera. Instead, it requires a lot of effort and practice on your part to learn this art. Knowing a few tricks and tips from expert time-lapse photographers, you can easily create alluring time-lapses with whichever camera your own.
The owners of the Nikon D7100 are, however, a little more than lucky in this regard. This camera comes with some of the most outstanding features to help you ace time-lapse photography.
With its 24.1 MP lens, multiple sensors, quick autofocus, excellent color resolution, and comfortable interval shoot settings, capturing time-lapses becomes even more fun and rewarding. Here are some additional tips that you can use with your D7100 to reach at the top of your time-lapse game soon.
Use The Right Interval
You’d probably know by now that time-lapse shooting requires you to set up your camera so that it keeps on capturing images at a definite time interval. Setting the perfect interval time for a time-lapse is something that confuses many beginners.
As a beginner, you might also find yourself asking if you should set the time interval between two captures for a few seconds or for a minute. Well, the answer is simple, you need to see what exactly you’re capturing and how fast or slow the scene being captured changes.
If what you’re shooting keeps on changing speedily, you’ll have to keep the interval time shorter. A short interval speed means your camera is clicking pictures faster, at a higher shutter speed. This will help your camera capture even the minutest shifts and movements of the scene, and lead to your time-lapse being incredibly detailed.
On the other hand, if the scene won’t change too quickly, you can keep the interval longer. Your Nikon D7100 allows you to select the time interval between each capture as per your requirements easily.
All you have to do is turn the auto time-lapse mode off and select a suitable release mode. Then, go to the shooting menu and select the desired shooting interval. The D7100 also allows you to choose if you want to start shooting right away or at some other specific time.
Additionally, you can determine the particular number of shots you want and fix the time for which you want the time-lapse shooting to happen. All these settings are relatively easy, and you can easily set the interval and shooting time even when using your D7100 for the first or second time.
Take A Lot Of Pictures
Even wondered how many pictures are enough for a perfect time-lapse’s creation? The answer is, as many as you can get. Typically, your 10-20 shots are merged into a second or hardly 2 seconds of your finally compiled time-lapse video. This makes even 600-700 pictures just an average number for a very short time-lapse.
Many new time-lapse photographers don’t know these frantic mathematical calculations and set up the number of total shots as if they were Dicken’s character, Uncle Scrooge. Most of them fear the memory card’s space and worry about the storage space they’d left with afterward.
They take so many pictures for just one time-lapse. This leads them to end up with a limited number of shots, using which they can make a time-lapse of no more than a few seconds.
We suggest you overcome your inner miser and adopt extravagance when deciding the number of pictures you’d take for a time-lapse. Take 1000, 2000, or maybe more photos to compile your time-lapse without fearing about space issues. You can always delete all the images right after a time-lapse has been created and finalized.
Suitable for Nikon D7100’s users, the camera is compatible with a number of high-quality memory cards that don’t cost too much either. You can always invest in a good one with enough storage space so that you can easily take as many pictures as you want.
Even if you want to keep all the images safe with you afterward, you can use cloud storage, G-drive’s backup, or any other such drive. This will help you keep your camera’s memory card empty for future shoots without affecting your time-lapse creation at all.
Don’t Move The Camera
This is undoubtedly the first and the most important rule for a time-lapse learner to follow. You can never expect your time-lapses to come out perfect if you kept on changing your camera’s position and have been capturing different frames throughout the way.
Remember, your camera needs to be placed at a fixed point, with undisrupted exposure settings and a consistent focus. Your time-lapse will only come out well if your camera is set properly. This persistence can only be achieved if you fix your camera in such a way that it doesn’t move even a bit on its own.
As a Nikon D7100 user, achieving this fixed camera position is very easy. This camera has a stable and lightweight body that can hold its balance when fixed at a certain point. You can also use a compatible frame or stand to secure the camera in an intact position throughout the shooting hours.
Sometimes, expert time-lapse photographers tend to tilt their cameras during the shoot to add some motion to the time-lapse. However, this camera movement is usually so subtle and in such sync with the scene being captured that the final product rarely has its obvious effects. Moreover, this slight movement needs an outstanding level of expertise, and this is why we suggest you avoid it as much as you can.
Use Manual Mode
Auto features of any good DSLR are usually of great benefit to a photographer. However, the case is entirely opposite in the case of a time-lapse shooting. When taking pictures for a time-lapse, your camera’s auto mode should be turned off, and you must be using your camera with manual settings.
If turned on during the time-lapse photo shoot, the auto mode will keep on shifting the focus in the same frame. The white balance and exposure also tend to shift consistently with auto features working during a shoot. All these changing elements within time-lapse shots bring in the phenomenon of flicker.
A flicker is characterized by an abnormally shifting focus, color resolution, and an inconsistent exposure in a time-lapse. The flicker effect usually ruins the entire time-lapse. Even if you compile flicker-affected shots into a time-lapse, the resulting video doesn’t look great at all.
This flickering effect is the reason that you need to turn off your camera’s auto mode. Thankfully, almost all the Nikon cameras allow an easy auto-mode turn-off, and the D7100 is no exception too. You can simply set your camera’s focus manually and place it where you want to start an un-altered shooting for your time-lapse.
Keep Your Battery Charged
Even if you’ve never done a time-lapse shoot before, you’d surely know long a time-lapse photography session can go. This means you have to keep your camera’s batteries fully charged when you start the shoot.
For a time-lapse of a highway, clouds, or the night time sky, you may even have to keep the camera on throughout the day or night. Also, when your camera is consistently capturing at regular intervals, it usually drains more power. This makes it need more battery charge throughout the shooting session.
A drained battery usually makes your camera shut down during the time-lapse shoot. Sometimes, it doesn’t even let the camera store all the captured shots, thus ruining all your effort and making your time go to waste.
Imagine the pain that you’d have to go through upon finding that your camera’s power drained right after it was done with capturing shots for 75% of your planned time-lapse. You don’t want to go through it, right? Therefore, you need to make sure that your batteries are fully charged no matter what.
For Nikon D7100 users, ensuring fully charged batteries means around 7 to 8 hours of lag less shoot. This camera uses a 1900mAh battery that is capable of capturing around 1000 shots easily. Another idea is to keep spare batteries with you all the time.
This will allow you to use a fresh and fully charged battery for the shoot after some of the previous ones have been drained to set up the camera and reach the specific location.