Time-Lapse Photography

 

Create Visually Dynamic Time-Lapses

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Time-Lapse Photography is a technique used to compile a large collection of still images into individual frames of a video. When sequenced effectively, the video gives the appearance of time passing faster than reality, thus lapsing time. Breathtaking time-lapses are often seen in television and movies, and while they may appear complicated, they’re not impossible to create.


In this tutorial, renowned time-lapse photographer, Drew Geraci, covers everything you need to start creating incredible time-lapses of your own. Travel with Drew to 4 unique locations while he shares his knowledge and expertise to help you become a better time-lapse photographer.


You’ll learn about:

  • Essential Gear & Accessories
  • Location Scouting for Time-Lapse Photos
  • Composition Selection
  • Detailed Camera Settings & Functions
  • Exporting & Processing Workflow
  • Editing & Post-Production
  • Building A Business with Time-Lapse Photography

Drew will walk you through step by step how to compose, capture and edit each image to create interesting time-lapses that are beautiful and masterful to watch. Discover comprehensive techniques for an evening time-lapse, rooftop time-lapse, day to night composite, live action composite and motion control composite. When you understand tips like reducing flicker, you'll instantly take your time-lapses from amateur to professional. 

Learn how to create visually dynamic time-lapses: compose, capture and edit with Drew Geraci's Time-Lapse Photography. 


This 2.5 hour intermediate tutorial uses the software: Lightroom, After Effects, and LRTimelapse.  

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  • 01. Getting Started
    • Thumbnail for Getting Started / Introduction
      Introduction (1:44)

      Welcome to Time-lapse Photography with Drew Geraci. In this training series, follow Drew, arguably the top working time-lapse professional photographer in the world, to explore and discover the best practices for your time-lapse workflow. Learn about the gear, locations, shooting method, post-production process, and business approach. And take a special look inside at some of Drew’s portfolio of work, across a range of creative execution within time-lapse photography.

    • Thumbnail for Getting Started / Camera Bodies & Lenses
      Camera Bodies & Lenses (3:25)

      Join photographer, Drew Geraci, as he breaks down his gear for time-lapse photography. Examine the camera bodies and lenses that he utilizes in a variety of time-lapse scenarios. Listen as Drew describes the benefits of high resolution, accurate light metering, and choosing lenses with post-production in mind.

    • Thumbnail for Getting Started / Camera Accessories
      Camera Accessories (5:47)

      Explore some of photographer, Drew Geraci’s favorite camera accessories and practices - from acquisition and backup storage, to filtering, tripods, and simple lighting to enhance your time-lapse workflow.

    • Thumbnail for Getting Started / Motion Control System
      Motion Control System (9:07)

      To create dynamic, standout time-lapse imagery, one important component is a motion control system. In this section, focus on the slider system, control unit, and 2 axis pan head. Build a foundation of working knowledge for using motion control for time-lapse photography before entering the field.

    • Thumbnail for Getting Started / Scouting
      Scouting (2:25)

      Gain industry insight, understanding what makes a successful location for time-lapse photography. See through the eyes of a top working pro, Drew Geraci, as he shares his insights and experience in scouting locations for his projects.

  • 02. Evening Time-lapse
    • Thumbnail for Evening Time-lapse / Location Breakdown
      Location Breakdown (4:11)

      Go on location at the Martin Luther King Bridge in St. Louis, Missouri with photographer, Drew Geraci. Focus on the key elements of the location, identifying what helps to create dimension and visual interest, for a dynamic evening time-lapse. Consider fore, middle, and background elements of the environment. Identify position of the camera, relationship of the motion control system to the environment, the appearance of the sky, city lighting and using reflection to your advantage.

    • Thumbnail for Evening Time-lapse / Camera Settings
      Camera Settings (4:25)

      With an understanding of the location, composition, and approach, build a working foundation for using the ideal camera settings at this setup. Identify the proper shooting mode, ISO, shutter speed, and interval to achieve optimum results for your time-lapse workflow.

    • Thumbnail for Evening Time-lapse / Motion Control Settings
      Motion Control Settings (3:53)

      With camera settings identified, focus on manipulating keyframes to create dynamic movement across your time-lapse capture. Watch as photographer, Drew Geraci, manipulates his motion control system to create a fluid, dimensional shot with key starting and ending composition, leveraging the foreground and background to create an intentional and engaging time-lapse image sequence.

    • Thumbnail for Evening Time-lapse / A Retrospective
      A Retrospective (2:02)

      Join photographer, Drew Geraci, as he gives some insight into best practices for securing locations. Identify what can happen when a time-lapse location doesn’t work out as planned and the importance of having backup locations as a part of your workflow.

  • 03. Rooftop Time-lapse
    • Thumbnail for Rooftop Time-lapse / Location Breakdown
      Location Breakdown (3:00)

      Build on the location shoot at the bridge with a high level look at time-lapse photography from a rooftop. With multiple cameras working, see the value of shooting from a prime location to achieve a variety of dynamic city shots. From a major landmark, to historical architecture, to a frantic freeway, watch an accelerated look at settings and location, before jumping into a deeper look at how to assemble these dynamic captures in post-production.

    • Thumbnail for Rooftop Time-lapse / Lightroom Adjustments
      Lightroom Adjustments (7:53)

      Begin the most critical aspect of your time-lapse workflow in post-production. Use Lightroom to organize your images, adjust exposure and color, quickly synchronize a single image adjustment across an entire time-lapse, and export your image sequence for finishing in After Effects.

    • Thumbnail for Rooftop Time-lapse / After Effects Assembly
      After Effects Assembly (6:53)

      With your time-lapse images balanced, exported and organized, move forward into the assembly and editing phase of the post-process in Adobe After Effects. This is where you will see your time-lapse come to life. Learn to setup your import settings, determine frame rate, create a composition, import your time-lapse stills and build a time-lapse sequence in After Effects. Learn best practices for exporting your time-lapse into non-linear editing applications (like Adobe Premiere Pro and Final Cut Pro X) and also for web delivery.

    • Thumbnail for Rooftop Time-lapse / Dynamic Movement
      Dynamic Movement (5:02)

      Time-lapse photography is entirely dependent upon motion. Motion within the composition, from subject to environmental elements. And even more dynamic movement can be created by setting the camera in motion while capturing the time-lapse. In addition to the motion generated in production, learn how to creatively generate movement using Adobe After Effects. Learn about the camera system, null objects, keyframes and basic animation to create a convincing, virtual camera movement in post-production.

  • 04. Day to Night Composite
    • Thumbnail for Day to Night Composite / After Effects Assembly
      After Effects Assembly (4:41)

      Using one of the rooftop time-lapse angles, learn how to composite 2 different time-lapses to create a convincing day to night time-lapse transition.

    • Thumbnail for Day to Night Composite / Flicker Removal
      Flicker Removal (3:05)

      With the day to night effect achieved, analyze the time-lapse sequence for flickering. Using a powerful plugin for After-Effects learn how to completely eliminate unwanted, but often unavoidable environmental lighting that can cause flickering within your time-lapse sequence.

    • Thumbnail for Day to Night Composite / Dynamic Movement
      Dynamic Movement (4:18)

      An essential ingredient to successful and dynamic time-lapse photography is movement. In this section, learn how to generate a camera move in post-production using Adobe After Effects. Utilize After Effect’s Camera system to create a virtual move with complete creative control over your composition.

    • Thumbnail for Day to Night Composite / LR Timelapse Prep
      LR Timelapse Prep (4:03)

      Build on your Day to Night time-lapse transition skills by leveraging the power of LR Timelapse in conjunction with Lightroom. Learn how to adjust and correct white balance and exposure over time to achieve consistency and a higher quality transition.

    • Thumbnail for Day to Night Composite / Lightroom Adjustments
      Lightroom Adjustments (3:38)

      Import your images into Lightroom from LR Time lapse and learn how to manipulate select keyframes as the exposure shifts from day-to-night. Manipulate exposure and color that can then be interpolated across all of your time-lapse exposures for a smooth, speedy, and efficient workflow with highly professional results.

    • Thumbnail for Day to Night Composite / LR Timelapse Keyframing
      LR Timelapse Keyframing (3:30)

      After making keyframe Lightroom adjustments, complete a roundtrip process by returning to LR Time-lapse to finish the image preparation for assembly in after effects. Apply exposure ramping to create smooth lighting adjustment and transition across the time-lapse exposure. And utilize the native flicker removal tool within LR Time-lapse to de-flicker the image sequence.

    • Thumbnail for Day to Night Composite / After Effects Assembly
      After Effects Assembly (2:35)

      Assemble your day to night transition time-lapse using Adobe After Effects. Learn to scale and reposition 8K content into a 4K composition.

  • 05. Live Action Composite
    • Thumbnail for Live Action Composite / Location Breakdown
      Location Breakdown (3:58)

      Go back on location with photographer, Drew Geraci to create an incredibly dynamic time-lapse sequence. Using the St. Louis Arch and arch grounds, develop a different skill set with time-lapse photography. The focus of this lesson will be to composite live action video with time-lapse exposures. Learn how to identify the compositional elements that will make for a clean, beautiful final composite. Learn best practices for matching resolution and sensor size, timing, and filtering for efficient compositing in post-production.

    • Thumbnail for Live Action Composite / After Effects Assembly
      After Effects Assembly (3:44)

      Import time-lapse and video elements to assemble your hybrid time-lapse composite. Create a quick plan for compositing the elements, prepping your composition resolution and frame rate. Scale and match the time-lapse sequence to match your video source.

    • Thumbnail for Live Action Composite / Masking & Cropping
      Masking & Cropping (4:25)

      Create a surreal composite using live action video and time-lapse images. Develop a deeper understanding of Adobe’s After Effects compositing capability, leveraging the power of the pen tool, masking, and composition controls.

  • 06. Motion Control Composite
    • Thumbnail for Motion Control Composite / Location Breakdown
      Location Breakdown (1:33)

      Build on all of the previous segments to create your most advanced time-lapse capture yet. Combine your knowledge of a motion control system with live-action and time-lapse photography compositing. With a high level look at Tower Grove Park, learn best practices for camera settings and navigating environmental elements to capture a surreal and beautiful sequence for compositing in post-production.

    • Thumbnail for Motion Control Composite / After Effects Assembly
      After Effects Assembly (4:22)

      Use Adobe After Effects to build a composition with the time-lapse photo sequence and live action video captured at Tower Grove Park. Learn how to properly align the layers and best practices for compression to allow for smooth playback and compositing.

    • Thumbnail for Motion Control Composite / Keyframing Masks
      Keyframing Masks (6:50)

      With layers matched, develop your skills in creating and animating masks within Adobe After Effects to create a surreal composite. In this scenario, match the movement of the motion control system with the video movement for a seamless look of accelerated and real time imagery. Utilize an adjustment layer and apply color to create a more stylized and consistent tone to the final composition.

  • 07. Time-lapse Repair
    • Thumbnail for Time-lapse Repair / Location Breakdown
      Location Breakdown (1:33)

      For the final location, take a brief look at using a 3 axis move, showcasing the St. Louis Arch. Listen as photographer, Drew Geraci offers some pro tips on how to manually create a day to night transition time-lapse on location.

    • Thumbnail for Time-lapse Repair / Frame Matching
      Frame Matching (8:17)

      There are always challenges with any set or location. Learn how to correct unwanted distractions within post-production. In this section, focus on balancing drastic shifts in exposure by leveraging the power of LRTimelapse. Continue to build your skillset using keyframes and the power of interpolation to correct and balance your time-lapse images. Manipulate keyframes, adjusting highlights, shadows, and exposure for a more seamless appearance across frames.

    • Thumbnail for Time-lapse Repair / Frame Removal & Blending
      Frame Removal & Blending (8:16)

      Learn how to remove unwanted artifacts from your time-lapse frames, using the compositing power of Adobe After Effects. Follow photographer, Drew Geraci, as he uses the pen to mask and replace distractions within the frame for a seamless, day to night time-lapse. Learn how to utilize time stretch to adjust your time-lapse sequences for impact and effect.

  • 08. Photographer Insights
    • Thumbnail for Photographer Insights / Midtown New York
      Midtown New York (5:48)

      Join photographer, Drew Geraci, as he walks through some of his earliest portfolio work. Stressing the importance of personal projects and winning bigger jobs, hear about how he approached creating a unique portfolio that gained attention from top tier brands. See different unique approaches to time-lapse, showcasing Midtown New York City. Hear personal stories of what went into some of the details of executing these compelling and unique creative projects.

    • Thumbnail for Photographer Insights / House of Cards Intro
      House of Cards Intro (10:19)

      Take an inside look at the iconic Title Intro Sequence for the Netflix Series, House of Cards. Follow photographer, Drew Geraci, as he walks through his process of creating hundreds of time-lapse sequences for the show. Hear about the process of working with director, David Fincher, and his crew. Go behind the shots to learn some of the details of what it took to execute the creative.

    • Thumbnail for Photographer Insights / Corona Extra
      Corona Extra (2:50)

      Take a look at a unique commercial project, for Corona Extra. Follow photographer, Drew Geraci, as he details the risk and reward of lassoing the moon for an award winning, outdoor billboard campaign.

    • Thumbnail for Photographer Insights / Marketing
      Marketing (2:29)

      Congratulations! You’ve completed the course - Time-lapse Photography with Drew Geraci. In this final segment, hear best practices on how to monetize your time-lapse photography work. Compare selling your content on stock versus direct-sale websites. Identify the difference between rights-managed versus royalty-free selling strategies. Don’t forget to review the included pricing guide. We look forward to seeing what you will create! And please share your projects within our community.



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