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East Idaho in Motion

How to master the art of image sequencing for stunning video clips

Published in the August 2023 Issue Published online: Aug 12, 2023 Photography
Viewed 1063 time(s)



By Steve Smede

Just like with still photography, video clips can make quite a statement on your social media feed or website homepage. One popular technique that adds a mesmerizing touch is the inclusion of a well-done image sequence, or “timelapse.” By condensing several minutes or hours into a short clip, you can produce a unique perspective on the passage of time.

Thankfully, East Idaho has no shortage of subject matter. The only challenge is knowing the gear and how to put it to good use.

Equipment doesn’t need to be anything too fancy. In fact, most subjects can be captured with a smartphone and a dedicated app that will let you manually control your camera settings. Better yet would be an interchangeable lens camera. Just make sure it has an intervalometer feature so you can set the number of images and the amount of time between each frame.

Also make sure you have a sturdy tripod or other support, as well as additional batteries and plenty of media storage space.

Once you have your equipment ready, find a location with a captivating subject or scene. Consider the lighting conditions, the movement within the frame, and any potential changes that will occur over time. One prime example might be at the falls on a partly cloudy day so you can capture the flowing water and the clouds passing overhead.

Now comes the secret sauce: your exposure settings.

For starters, switch your camera to manual mode to have complete control over exposure, aperture, and ISO settings. Set your aperture to f11 or higher, your ISO to 100 and your shutter speed to 1/8 of a second or longer, if possible. The latter setting is important because ideally, you’ll want to have the slowest speed possible to give your finished product a nice smooth look.

Next, set your intervals and the total number of frames.  Case in point: For a nice shot of the falls with clouds passing overhead, I would set my camera to shoot one frame per second with a total of 300 frames. Played back at a video frame rate of 30 frames per second, that would give me a 10 second clip.

Once you have captured the necessary frames, it's time to transfer them to your computer and assemble them into a video clip. Use software like Adobe Premiere Pro, Final Cut Pro, or free alternatives like Time-Lapse Assembler or LRTimelapse to process and create your video. (Most smartphones, like the latest iPhone models, will do this automatically.)

Aside from dressing up your colors and adding graphics/titles in a video editor, that’s all there is to it. If you have any questions about setup or equipment, don’t hesitate to drop me a note at smedelightworks@gmail.com. Happy shooting!

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