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