How to do a wedding timelapse?

I have been a keen photographer for some time now and while discussing this with a colleague at work we got on to the topic of timelapses and how cool they were. You know the ones they use to show flowers opening at high speed on nature programs. As it turned out at the time it was a few months before my wedding and thus the idea to have a timelapse done of the wedding was born!

If you don’t know what a timelapse is then I know Wikipedia can help http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timelapse

In basic terms a photo is taken every few seconds (or hours) and then put together into a video as frames per second. So if a photo was taken every 5 seconds and the video was 24 frames per second, 1 hour in real time would be 30 second in the video!

So here is the final result…

Cool eh? If you watched it all the way through you just watched about 15 hours in 6 and a half minutes.

The camera was setup to take pictures from 9.00am to 12.30am, where 1 image was taken every 5 seconds. This resulted in 10732 images, Now that’s a lot of images and yes I know DSLRs take huge images in size, but they don’t have to be high quality as even a 1920px by 1080px picture will make a full HD movie!

I will say this, it isn’t for the faint hearted and if you can – ask your photographer to do it for you or use the following guide.

Tips for a wedding timelapse

  • Get a high vantage point for two reasons, one your cam is less likely to get knocked (it needs to be in the same place for the whole time) and two you will get more of the whole day.
  • It works best when the light conditions don’t change to much
  • I could not go and check the cam in the day (my new wife would have killed me) so I used aperture priority mode which was an automatic mode to adjust for lighting (see this discussion I started before the wedding – if you want more details)
  • Think power and memory card size – will you have enough power for the full run and enough space for all the photos – do a trial run – but be warned DSLRs have a limited shutter life so they might not like 20000 pictures taking in two sittings.
  • Backup the images as soon as possible!
  • Don’t rule out using a webcam you can get great results with that

I hope that helps and compels you to have a go – I would love to see your wedding timelapses – so if you do one then send me the YouTube link via the contact us and I will add it to the bottom of this post, as well as any tips you might have!

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