What should I do to get more business?
How do I get more attention?
How can I land more clients and get more paychecks?
These are all valid questions. May I give you some advice? Maybe photographers need to stop doing what everyone else is doing and be a little different. Maybe instead of just photographs, we should provide photographs that move! Maybe, JUST MAYBE, by giving someone something they’ve never seen before, we can get more attention and more jobs.
It’s not a revolutionary idea. In fact, there are some photographers doing just this with time lapse photography.
People love time lapse. It pairs the power of photography with moving visual effects and music. It increases the interest levels of photography.
Not only do people and companies love it, but it also opens the door for media like commercials or promo videos. Still shots are great for magazines or ads. But when you can make a video, the whole game is changed. More people watch videos now than ever before, and marketing companies know that. Therefore, time lapse photography is what they could be looking for!
But, what is time lapse photography you ask?
Time-lapse photography has really been catching on in the past few years, and it’s something that photographers have found to be very useful to be able to shoot in order to sell their work to clients. If you don’t know what time-lapse photography is, however, it is the videos you might have seen that show extremely fast movement over long periods of time. Some time-lapse photography sequences even show camera movement to add to the drama.
You might be thinking that time-lapse sequences are video that are sped up. However, they are actually a series of multiple photographs. You see, time-lapse photography uses photographs shot from one location, or an extremely slow panning motion, so the viewer can see multiple movements over hours of time during a span of a few seconds.
Now, hearing that, you might be thinking, “Awesome!” And then you are probably thinking, “Wow, that will take a very long time.” Well, yes, it is awesome, and yes, it will take a very long time to shoot. The bulk of the work for time-lapse photography is on the front end, though, so shooting is actually very easy. Let me run you through a very simple workflow to get you started shooting your own time-lapse photography!
How to Shoot Time-Lapse Photography
The first step of shooting any time-lapse photography is making sure you have the correct gear to do so. No, you don’t need to go out and buy the latest and greatest camera. You can do it with the camera you already have! All you need in addition to your camera is a cable release and a sturdy tripod (I use this one, and you get get 15% off by using the code “photographyroundtable”).
Once you have all of your gear, head out to the location you’ve scouted and set up your shot. If you’re shooting at night, it’s a very good idea to take a flashlight or a headlamp so you can see what you’re doing. I would also recommend visiting a location that you know well, or that you have scouted before.
Take a few test shots to see what the best settings are to get the lighting correct, and to frame your shot perfectly. You should be sure to lock your tripod in case any wind picks up or anything bumps your tripod while you’re shooting. Tightening all of your knobs and anchors will ensure that your camera will most likely not move. Also, make sure you have enough battery power to shoot for at least an hour. Taking extra batteries with you is always a good idea.
Next, plug in your cable release to the side of your camera. Once it is plugged in, it will act as your camera’s shutter. You want to use a cable release so that you do not move the camera at all by pressing the shutter.
Set your camera to continuous shooting and disable any playback features. You also might want to consider removing any noise reduction settings you have turned on so that your camera will take true continuous shots.
Finally, press the cable release to engage the shutter, and lock the cable release in place. As long as your camera is set to continuous shooting and your cable release is locked, your camera will continue to snap photos without any additional work!
Now, all you have to do is sit back and wait for the sequence to finish! You can shoot for as long as you want, but I’d recommend at least an hour.
No matter what you are shooting, your time-lapse photography will give your followers and fans a look at something other-worldly. Even if your fans are your friends and family, they’re going to be impressed, so be ready to explain the process to them!