In-Camera Time-Lapse Photography Resource and Guide

In-Camera Time-Lapse Photography Resource and Guide

Fast-disappearing are the days of having to have a separate interval timer to create time-lapses. Many cameras now have built-in intervalometers. The following is a guide to setting up the time-lapse function for most cameras. 1. What is a Time-Lapse? 2. What Gear Do I Need for a Time-Lapse? 3. Notable Cameras with Built-in Interval Timers 4. What Settings Do I Need for a Time-Lapse? 5. For How Long Should I Make My Time-Lapse? 6. Time-Lapse Instructions By Camera 7. How to Put Together Your Time-Lapse What is a Time-Lapse? Time-lapses are comprised of a bunch of pictures of the same thing taken over a long period of time. You then display them quickly in sequence when you’re done. The result is a little “movie” that displays a slow passage of time quickly. Time-lapses are a great way to show how a kid grows, how a flower dies, how stadiums fill up, how the weather changes, and even how the Earth rotates! Most of time, though, you just want to show something simple made interesting, like the sun setting rapidly or the bustle of traffic. Time-lapses also make good scene fillers for larger visual projects. Pay attention and you’ll start noticing them everywhere, from the credits of TV shows to commercials and music videos. What Gear Do I Need for a Time-Lapse? Before we get into interval sequencing, it is important to understand some basic fundamentals of time-lapse photography. Consistency is key. You will need the following: • A tripod or other very stable environment. • A lens with manual focus. • Distance from random light sources (for example, don’t turn your...
6 Easy Summer Photography Shooting Tips with Big Results

6 Easy Summer Photography Shooting Tips with Big Results

Shooting in the middle of the day is a photography no-no but sometimes, especially when traveling, you have no choice but to make the most of the harsh light. Here are 6 methods for getting better images in the heat of summer without having to carry a lot of extra tools with you. Turn Your Back on the Sky But Face the Sun It seems counterintuitive but you want your subject to face away from the sun. Light coming from behind your subject separates them from their background in a pleasing way. However, your subject’s face may be dark. To counter this, use Exposure Compensation or Meter specifically for your subject. This may overexpose your background a bit but it beats having a squinting, raccoon-eyed subject. Having a big open space behind you, as opposed to trees or dark buildings, will help keep your subject’s face bright even when they have their backs to the sun. The best combination is to find a location where the sun can be behind or at an angle to your subject while placing them against a dark background – like the very trees you’re trying to avoid having behind you. In short, a great formula for outdoor, high-noon portraits without additional tools is to have open sky behind you and the sun’s direction behind your subject, preferably filtered through darker scenery. Want to improve this even more? Put a reflector in front of your subject. The sun coming from behind them will hit that reflector and bounce that light back into the front of your scene. Seek Out Environmental Reflectors Beach sand, those creepy...
Going Long On a Budget: The Tamron 150-600mm Telephoto Lens

Going Long On a Budget: The Tamron 150-600mm Telephoto Lens

I’m kind of a big fan of Canon and Nikon’s long glass. More than once I’ve taken either Nikon’s 800mm or 600mm lenses with a fast body, or Canon’s 600mm. On these occasions my subjects are usually birds and often birds in flight, as they tend to challenge even the best gear out there. This time I chose to take out something a little more budget-friendly and less bulky: the Tamron 150–600mm f/5–6.3 Di VC USD lens in the Nikon mount. The following is my impression of the quality of this lens. Build Quality Tamron’s past lenses have felt somewhat chintzy to me in the past. I own an old 28–75mm lens that had the fit and finish of a cheap kit lens. I’d come to associate them with lenses of that sort; inexpensive, plasticky, and far from high-end. Like Sigma, however, Tamron seems to be working through a bit of a reinvention. Their 24–70mm f/2.8 lens is still the only lens covering that focal length and maximum aperture with optical image stabilization made by any manufacturer. It’s actually an optically sound piece of glass with a far better build quality than I’d expected. The 150–600mm lens has a similarly surprising solidity and heft to it. Gone are the creaks and clicks I remember from my brief encounter with their 200mm–500mm lens; this one feels solid enough to almost feel like a Sigma lens — and I mean that as a compliment. The barrel is plastic with a slightly textured finish, while the focus and zoom rings are ridged rubber. Both rings move smoothly and firmly; they feel neither...
Swap out That Wide Angle Lens for Your Landscape Photography

Swap out That Wide Angle Lens for Your Landscape Photography

Landscape shooters love their wide-angle lenses. From the amazing Nikon 14–24mm f/2.8 to the new Canon 11–24mm f/4, it’s usually the wides that get everyone excited about landscape photography. Every so often, however, it pays to change things up. I was in the same boat when it came to landscapes; I reached for the Nikon 14–24mm often, even when I was using my Canon 5D Mark II. Then one day, tired of going for wide, sweeping landscapes, I decided to switch things up. Here are three ways you can do the same. Go Long but Not Too Long Sweeping panoramas are awesome and, back in 2012, I used a slightly different method to create a couple of images that I still look at and like today. In the image below I went with a “normal” length lens – the Canon 45mm f/2.8 Tilt-Shift lens. This is a composite of two shots, one with the lens shifted left, and one with it shifted right. Going with that normal perspective allowed me to avoid the one effect of wide-angle lenses that I don’t like: the tendency to often miniaturize things unless you’re pretty close to the subject (in which case they can distort things a bit). I also wanted some compression in the perspective and if you look at the image at 100% even in its current downsized version, you’ll see that you can read the words “Honneur et Patrie” on the far wall of the courtyard just fine. I wanted that tiny bit of detail, as well as Rodin’s “The Thinker” statue framed and recognizable by those pillars behind it. That...
4th of July Shooting Tips for Beginners

4th of July Shooting Tips for Beginners

For most photo enthusiasts, 4th of July is more than a holiday – it is a day to practice some challenging shooting situations beyond just capturing fireworks. Here are 5 tips/shooting ideas for beginners (and reminders for seasoned shooters) that will help advance your skills over 4th of July. 4th of July Shooting Tips for Beginners 1. Show Parade Action with Slow Shutter Speeds 2. Light Write with Sparklers 3. Take Advantage of Selective Focusing 4. Shoot into the Sun 5. Capture Context During a Fireworks Show Show Parade Action with Slow Shutter Speeds Our instinct is to freeze moving objects but then they look stationary and the image feels flat as a result. Many parade photos end up looking boring for this reason. Practice slowing down your shutter speed to something longer than 1/100th of a second (experiment). If you’re out in the bright sun, you will need to increase your aperture to compensate and prevent extreme overexposure. See this section of our sports post for more details on panning settings. Light Write with Sparklers This is a fun activity that is explained in full in this post and this post but here are the quick basics for light writing: • Put your camera on a tripod. • Put your camera in “bulb” mode. This will keep the shutter open for as long as you want. If you do not have bulb mode, start with an exposure that is 30 seconds long (available on most cameras, including point and shoots). Below is an example of the bulb mode setting on a DSLR body and a mirrorless body. • Put your lens...