Time-lapse photography is an excellent way to capture the changes in different phenomena over a specified time. This kind of photography has recently started enjoying a lot of fame because it allows people to witness incredible video-like transformations in a few seconds. Another reason that makes this photography niche so popular among new photographers is that it can be carried out anywhere. Unlike photography that captures landscapes or the night skies, you don’t necessarily have to step outside your comfort zone or home to capture some time-lapse masterpieces.
On days you don’t feel like getting out of your room, you can simply fix your camera somewhere in your balcony or beside your window to start shooting the clouds or your garden that day. However, this plus point of time-lapse photography doesn’t make it a very easy niche to master. Because time-lapse photography is very different from other kinds of photography, you might initially find it very complicated. This means that a lot of resilience and effort are needed to become an ace time-lapse photographer.
Your first step when trying to learn time-lapse photography should be investing in a good and powerful camera. A camera like Nikon D800 should suffice well for any novice time-lapse photography learners. This camera has some of the easiest to use features with long battery life, both of which are mandatory elements for any time-lapse camera. Other than these, the Nikon D800 D-SLR camera has around 36 million effective pixels, fastest and most accurate 51 points autofocus, exceptionally good magnification, excellent resolution, and undoubtedly the best white balancing capability.
All you need are a few tips and tricks to work with your Nikon D800, and you’ll undoubtedly start noticing improvements in your time-lapse captures soon. Given below are 5 essential tips, you can quickly learn and use when using this camera for time-lapse photography:
Choose Good Music
While this isn’t exactly a tip relevant to your camera usage, it’s a great one to follow for all sorts of time-lapse shoots. Time-lapses usually end up quite perfectly when you play them with relevant music in the background. Adding good music to your time-lapse videos makes them more interesting and gives them a dramatic touch.
On the other hand, time-lapse videos with complete silence can easily lessen the viewers’ interest. Many new time-lapse photographers usually choose background music after they’ve recorded the time-lapse. This makes it hard to find the exact and most-suitable music that goes well with the time-lapse’s speed and nature.
It’s better to spend some time choosing the best possible background music before you even begin shooting. This way, you can easily match the nature of your time-lapse’s shoot with the music and can set up its speed better. It’s also useful to look up some relevant time-lapses to see what kind of music they have in their background.
Once you’re done choosing the music, you can easily trust in the Nikon D800 to take the best possible pictures for your time-lapse. With this camera, you can efficiently work with the exposure, color, and even the interval between the shots that helps you get exactly the kind of time-lapse you wanted for the selected music.
This is another of the most essential shooting tips you can benefit from any time irrespective of the camera model you’ve. Don’t expect yourself to take the best time-lapse shots unless you get comfortable with your camera. As a novice photographer and a learner, you’re supposed to spend a great deal of time using your camera randomly to have a better know-how of it.
You should work a bit with the camera’s settings making sure you don’t set up something irreversible but are thoroughly familiar with your camera. It would be unfair for you to take out a new camera and start shooting with it right away without knowing its setup and other features. Getting comfortable with your camera basically means being excellent and adept at using it. This way, you hardly require a minute to set it up according to your needs.
This comfort and know-how of any camera can’t be developed unless you use it on your own regularly. You must go out, taking random pictures, and exploring your camera’s modes and setups without any particular goal in mind. Not having any specific photography goal in your mind means you can fearlessly use your camera.
This will help you learn more about its basic features because you’ll be learning while on the field. Owning a user-friendly camera like the Nikon D800 is incredibly helpful in this regard. You can use it easily and can understand its different modes and setups quickly, which can, in turn, make you comfortable with it in just a few days.
Use RAW Format
Time-lapse photographers usually save their captures in Jpeg format because they take up lesser space in the camera’s memory. However, these Jpeg photos later lose their clarity and sharpness when they’re edited to suit the nature of a time-lapse. Editing and cropping pictures before turning them into a time-lapse video is an essential step of time-lapse photography.
Therefore, it’s better to save all your photos in RAW format when shooting them for a time-lapse video. This helps you avoid ending up with numerous unclear and distorted pictures that aren’t of much use in creating a time-lapse. Saving images in RAW format means they have a lot of photo data intact and uncompressed. Such a raw photo data keeps the picture in its best form even after it’s edited and cropped several times. Most photographers fear the storage space issues when asked to save images in RAW format.
You don’t have to worry much about that since you can always add a better memory card and can delete the pictures once you’ve created the time-lapse. Thankfully, the Nikon D800 is compatible with several memory cards and storage devices. Such a feature allows you to take as many pictures as you want without fearing about running out of storage space ever.
Don’t Move The Camera
Many novice time-lapse photographers aren’t much aware of the flicker effect in a time-lapse shoot. This makes them care less about the camera stillness during the shoot. The flicker effect arises when the frame and the angle are changed continuously during the time-lapse shoots. This results in imperfect shoots, with each having a different exposure and lighting than the other. Such a blunder usually ends in useless time-lapses that aren’t even up to the mark. If you want your hours of shooting to end up nicely, you must make sure not to move your camera at all.
Not moving the camera involves keeping the frame intact and ensuring consistent angles throughout the time-lapse. On the other hand, if your camera moves even 2-3 times during the shooting session, the resulting time-lapse would have irregular composition, distorted lighting effects, and a poor white balance at some points, thus ruining the entire time-lapse.
However, because a time-lapse shoot is quite long and is spread over a few hours, it’s almost impossible to keep your hands fixed all that time. Therefore, you should invest in a camera like Nikon D800 that is lightweight and has an easy to grip body. Such a body is easy to be placed anywhere without fearing it falling or tilting too much. You can also get several tripods and stands to fit your Nikon D800 at a fixed point, thus making sure to avoid flicker and helping you get the best possible time-lapse ever.
Keep Your Batteries Charged
Everyone knows that time-lapse photography requires a camera to keep on capturing photos after regular intervals. This puts a lot of pressure on the camera and drains its charging quickly. Sometimes, you might have to keep the camera turned on for hours to capture an incredible time-lapse. When turned off during the shoot, your camera can’t save the captured images properly on many occasions. This means you end up spending so much time having no useful pictures with you. Such factors require the camera’s batteries to be fully charged and powerful enough to last for a longer time.
It’s even better to have an extra pair of fully charged batteries with you when you’re not traveling far away for time-lapse photography. Usually, some of the camera’s battery drains when you’re setting it up to start shooting for the time-lapse. Having an extra pair at your hand, you can easily replace a drained battery with the fully charged one right before starting the shoot.
This fresh pair of batteries is sure to last you longer, making sure the shoot is finished well and when you wanted it to. Good for the users of Nikon D800, this camera has a considerable battery timing. It usually lasts up to 11 hours, making sure you can quickly shoot the required amount of pictures to make a good and lengthy time-lapse video.