How to make a time lapse video?

July 13,2022    3 min read

How time lapses work and how to make a time lapse video

As a beginner, understanding how time lapses work is critical. Only then can you master the technique and art of capturing stunning, unique time lapses.

Now that we've run you through the basics of time lapses let's also understand how time lapses work. This article will explain how time lapses work and which accessories you need to invest in to ensure a perfect time lapse.

Let's get started:

  • Pick your filming subject
  • Get started with your camera settings
  • Look out for additional support gear
  • After the shoot

Pick your subject

You can go with something relatively more straightforward to begin with (clouds, sunsets or plants). 

When picking a subject for a time lapse, remember to apply the same framing and composition rules you'd use for stock photography or videography.

Pick an active topic, as change is the element that makes time lapses interesting.

Plant growing time lapse shot by ATLI EON

Get started with your time lapse camera 

A time lapse camera has the right features you require to capture the perfect time lapse. If you don't have a time lapse camera, you can always choose a built-in camera with a built-in time lapse mode.

Calibrating the latter is more accessible. If you're adjusting the settings manually, you need to calibrate the aperture, shutter speed, ISO, focus, and time lapse interval.

Other essential gear you need to invest in

Apart from a reliable camera for time lapse, you also need to look out for additional support gear such as:


Wide-angle zoom lenses are well-suited for time lapse photography.

The usual subjects for time lapse photography are seascapes, night skies, sunriseslandscapesand these lenses are the right fit for capturing these images in their best form. 


All time lapses (beginner or professional) need to have a sturdy tripod in their kits.

As your camera needs to stay stable in a single place for a long time, investing in a rigid tripod is advisable. Also, a good tripod will help you capture the long exposure shots easily.

Memory Cards

Add a high-speed memory card to your kit as each time lapse shoot takes up around a hundred MB or a few GB.

It's advisable to check the storage capacity of your memory cards to find the number of shots they can store and decide accordingly.

Extra Batteries

Time lapse shots can stretch across hours, so you need to be prepared with an extra set of batteries. The last thing you want is a camera running out of charge on your dream time lapse shoot! So a couple of spare batteries is always handy.

After the shoot

After all the images have been taken on your time lapse camera, the process of merging the images needs to start. Ensure that all your images are backed up in case something goes wrong in the import stage.

Then, using special software on a decent computer, merge all the photos to create a seamless time lapse. Alternatively, if you have a dedicated time lapse camera, you may not even have to upload photos as a separate stage!

Finally, remember to plan your time lapse shoot. 

Think about the type of lighting and angle of light the camera will experience throughout the time lapse and move the camera's position accordingly.

Once you have all the equipment and the appropriate planning, you will be well on your way to having a great shoot.