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For me, Time Lapse Photography is What’s Happening Now

For me, Time Lapse Photography is What’s Happening Now

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A plan for one branch of my photographic evolution.

By Jack Howard

February 24, 2010

Inspiring and amazing time lapse videos on Vimeo have been pushing me to really take the plunge into Timelapse imaging. And the growing subset of time lapse, HDR Time lapse is especially appealing to this HDR shooter.


I’ve recently decided that one of my biggest concentrations in photography for the next year or so is going to revolve around time lapse imaging. There’s something about this  cool hybrid of still and video photography that has always appealed to me. And now with the digital editing tools and online video sharing sites available, it’s never been a better time to really dive into this cool genre of hybrid photography. 

Honestly, I’m just getting my feet wet with this. I know the basics of single shot time lapse as I explain here, but what is really jazzing me as a challenge is combining HDR source images with time lapse. And dollies for slow-pan action. And syncing timelapse video to audio. And multiple-camera splicing. It is going to be a challenge, but I’ve always found that pushing yourself photographically in one area helps your overall understanding of the principals and physics behind the images. And embracing the science to enhance the aesthetic has a ton of appeal for me.

This has always been one of those things in the “some day” pile. But too often, too many people let “some day” turn into “never.”  It was a Vimeo group, started by a fellow I’ve known from several photo forums for close to a decade now, Robert Fisher, about HDR Time Lapse,  that started to really light the fire for time lapse in me. And since so much of the gear and gadgetry overlaps with the HDR gadget set, it’s a logical combination: tripods, releases, wide angle lenses  and big memory cards are necessary for both these pursuits (and patience...can’t forget about the patience!)

As many TechTock fans know, I’m really into HDR photography. And seeing some of these great HDR time lapse videos both from places I’ve visited in real life, or saw in a new light via time lapse flipped that switch in me to say: “Now’s the time! Let’s go out and really get a handle on this.”

Over the next few months, we’ll be featuring some pieces on time lapse imaging on gear, tips, tricks, and of course, amazing videos. Stay tuned.

For today, here’s a small sampling of great time lapse videos from Vimeo that have inspired me to give this the old college try–whatever that means.

Several of the videos below are from Jay Burlage (MiLapse on Vimeo), who is an administrator of the forums, which is a fantastic resource for learning about time lapse photography.  Enjoy!


HDR Timelapses



More fantastic videos from this artist can be seen here!


Auckland Harbour, New Zealand


Very cool urban HDR Timelapse plus AfterEffects


San Francisco Sunrise


University of Michigan


Non-HDR Timelapse

Beautiful winterscapes

Great Smoky Mountains


I love the car sequence in this one!


And here's a funny way to wind down!

Yes, Cristina, Timelapse evidently requires patience!


Have you been experimenting with Timelapse Photography? Share links to your own videos!


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