Levi Sim (lev­isim.com) ex­plains how to in­cor­po­rate cre­ative fo­cus­ing with time-lapse video for a pop­u­lar minia­ture ef­fect

Digital Photograper - - Techniques -

1 USE A TRI­POD Any move­ment be­tween frames can make your view­ers sick at worst, and they’ll skip to the next video at best. You’ve got to lock your cam­era down for a view­able time-lapse. Make sure it’s on a sta­ble foun­da­tion (you’d be amazed at how much bridges move) and make sure you haven’t over-ex­tended it.

2 TILT THE FO­CUS PLANE Tilt­ing your lens up or down gives an ul­tra-thin slice of fo­cus, which makes your im­ages look like they were shot on a minia­ture set; usu­ally the only other way to achieve that shal­low depth of field is to fo­cus very close to a sub­ject. The Lens­baby Edge 50 tilts, as do tilt/shift lenses.

3 TILT FOR COM­PO­SI­TION The di­rec­tion you tilt the lens af­fects com­po­si­tion. If you tilt down, then the fo­cus runs from close to you at the top and far­ther away at the bot­tom, and the op­po­site if you tilt up. Take care to study your frame and com­po­si­tion – a poor com­po­si­tion makes a poor time-lapse.

4 SET IN­TER­VAL Choose an in­ter­val be­tween frames that de­mon­strates the right amount of move­ment. For traf­fic a one-sec­ond in­ter­val al­lows for a log­i­cal flow – longer and you might not see the same car in two frames. Ex­pe­ri­ence will help you de­cide how much time to leave be­tween frames.

5 CHOOSE FRAME COUNT The du­ra­tion of your video de­pends on how many frames you shoot. Con­sider, too, the fi­nal FPS of the video your clip will be included in. For in­stance a 30 FPS video needs 30 pho­tos to make just one sec­ond of video. If you shoot 300 frames, you’ll have ten sec­onds’ worth of video.

6 LOCK THE EX­PO­SURE Shoot your time­lapse us­ing man­ual ex­po­sure. Other modes are not ideal be­cause they al­low the ex­po­sure to change. If a cloud moves across the sun the ex­po­sure must not change, or else the video will have a flick­er­ing sen­sa­tion and ap­pear faulty.

7 COM­PILE THE SE­QUENCE To com­pile your time-lapse, make sure all im­ages are JPEGs and in the same folder. Open Pho­to­shop and choose File> Open. Nav­i­gate to your JPEGs and click the first im­age. At the bot­tom of the di­a­logue, click Op­tions, check the box for Im­age Se­quence and click Open.mes.

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