The contest was simple: Shoot three different locations around Seattle for 24 hours, and create a time lapse using PolarPro ND Quartzline filters, and Rhino Camera Gear’s new EVO Slider.

Time lapse photography is a great way to add a dynamic touch to your video project, condensing photos shot over a long period of time into a short video clip to help move your story along.  

Why shoot a time lapse? Well, besides breaking up your shot types to keep the viewer engaged, a time lapse can help convey a passing sense of time, like day to night, or can connect two separate timelines together to further develop your cinematic narrative.

A well placed time lapse can also show a change in weather, subject placement, or change in mood, and can help to capture your audience’s attention.

A time lapse is basically a series of photos taken at a set interval over a long period of time and is then stitched together to make a short video clip.

Depending on the scene and the speed of your subjects in frame, you may want to use a slower or faster interval. Standard time lapse intervals include 1s, 2s, 5s, and 10 seconds.

So, what makes for an interesting time lapse?  Let’s check out how our team tackled the time lapse contest.

Neutral Density filters

First, ND filters. ND filters help control camera shutter speed, and for this contest, our team used them to control shutter speed to create smooth and cinematic motion blur in each time lapse sequence.

Location 1: Fremont Bridge

When shooting your time lapse, it’s important to set your focus, shutter speed, aperture, ISO and white balance manually. Auto mode can cause flickering, color shift or focus shifting as the time lapse takes place, so switch it Manual mode.

Because your camera is taking a photo at a set interval and over a long period of time, anywhere from an hour to a full day depending on what you are shooting, any movement or bumping into the camera will ruin your time lapse. If you have a remote shutter release, use it!

At Fremont Bridge, we shot two time lapse sequences, one with a 1-second interval and one with a 5-second interval of the drawbridge opening and closing and the flow of traffic there.