This is how you should be setting up your time-lapse

A time-lapse can make for a great video, but do you know how to set up one up? If not, no worries! YouTuber Chris Winter has a video that will show you.

Winter, who has amassed over 350,000 subscribers on YouTube, posted a video a little while back that went over how you can set up your camera for a long time-lapse shoot. The video provides us with five quick but useful tips that everyone can benefit from.

Take a look if you want to make a time-lapse — or if you just like watching good videos:

Tip 1: Get Steady

Your camera is going to be sitting in the same spot for a long period of time. It’s important that you put it on something that has a solid foundation. This can be anything from a tripod to simply a table. Obviously, it would be best to use a tripod if you are shooting out at a location. But if you just want to shoot the stars from your back porch, you could use something other than a tripod if you wish. It just needs to be steady.

If you are using a tripod, you can use sandbags as well if you are paranoid that the setup will move, ruining the time-lapse.

Camera mounted on tripod with sandbag holding it down
You can attach a sandbag to your tripod if you really don’t want your camera moving

Tip 2: Use Manual Focus

If you use auto-focus with a time-lapse, the camera will hunt back and forth. It will leave your time-lapse looking weird. It’s best if you use manual focus because the focus will stay put the entire time. So before you start, focus the camera and then leave it.

Tip 3: Slow down the shutter speed

Winter notes that there are two ways to shoot a time-lapse. The first was is jump straight into the recording and then speeding up your video in post. The second way is to take a lot of photos and then put them together to make a time-lapse.

Winter says he personally prefers the second way because he claims it gives him more creative control. “You can use a slower shutter speed and get some beautiful motion blur as you can see right here, whereas it’s almost impossible to get the same effect just shooting with video,” Winters says.

Regardless which one you prefer, both work.

Tip 4: Use an ND filter

Now, if you shoot with slow shutter speeds during the day, your image will be blown out. This is where ND filters come in handy. As Winter puts it, ND filters are essentially sunglasses for your camera’s lens. They bring down the exposure so you can use longer shutter speeds.

Tip 5: Enjoy it

This may not be a tip specifically for shooting time-lapses, but it’s still an important tip to remember. Shooting a time-lapses can be very relaxing and meditative, as they take a while to complete. Other forms of shooting video can sometimes seem rushed, but time-lapses differ. Enjoy the moment and take it all in.

Time-lapses make beautiful videos, and with the proper setup, you can make one of your own. Try shooting a time-lapse whenever you get the chance and share what you make.

Sean Berry
Sean Berry
Sean Berry is Videomaker's managing editor.

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