The Art of Timelapse Photography

Timelapse photographer Michael Shainblum has really taken the art to the next level. His videos, which contrast the fast pace of city life and the slow calm of nature, are beautiful depictions of life in general.

For his next release, “Into The Atmosphere,” Shainblum showcases the natural beauty of California, but from locations that not too many people have ever been before. He lets us behind the curtain and shows us just how he gets the perfect, never before seen shots:

Shainblum talks about discovering a love for photography as a child, specifically experimenting with stop motion. He recalls the innocence of a child walking around taking photos of everything, holding the shutter button down to create movement in stills. As Shainblum says, you don’t need a fancy video camera, you can take your images and essentially turn them into a video.

That concept really struck me; all a video is is a bunch of pictures.

michael shainblum photography

With a drive to explore and see things that are less seen, Shainblum has truly perfected the art of timelapse photography.

He offers a few tips when it comes to photographing the stars. As he says, it doesn’t require a lot of fancy gear, like some people think. You don’t need a telescope or an insanely fancy camera.

What you do need:

  • A prosumer grade DSLR camera
  • A pretty vast wide lens
  • A plan – prepare for the shot
  • To get away from light pollution – in other words, get out of the city
  • Inspiration to go out and explore

photographing stars movement

Besides his camera and wide angle lens, Shainblum uses a mechanical controlled dolly system, his own personal robot basically, to move through the surroundings and capture different angles, views. With a remote, he can control the interval between shots, how many shots it takes and how long it takes.

Once he has his raw images, he uses Adobe Lightroom to enhance them, before bringing them into After Effects as a sequence and create the timelapse effect. He then uses Adobe Premier to do the final cut.

For Further Training on Timelapse Photography:

There is a complete guide (146 pages) to shooting, processing and rendering time-lapses using a dslr camera. It can be found here: The Timelapse Photography Guide

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