I found this article and video over at 500PX, written and recorded by photographer Matt Malloy.
When most photographers think of time stacking they immediately think of star trails. This is what times stacking is most commonly used for. However, you can use them to create a very painterly effect with landscape photos taken during the day.
In the article Matt Malloy gives tips on how to shoot timelapses and suggestions on the gear you’ll need as well. In the video he actually dives into the post processing. This is a great idea for something new to try if you’re feeling stuck for ideas.
Here are his gear suggestions and time stack tips.
Here is a list of equipment you’ll need to make a time stack image:
1. A camera and an intervalometer An intervalometer is a device to make your camera take pictures repeatedly at a given interval. If you have a Canon camera like I do, there’s a good chance that you can download free software called Magic Lantern that gives you lots of new features, including an intervalometer built right into your camera.
2. A stable tripod, or something to fix your camera in position while it shoots multiple photos. The sturdier the better! I’ve found that a weight on a rope attached to the center of the tripod helps a lot when it’s windy. I am speaking from experience here!
3. Photo editing software. I use Adobe Photoshop. So that’s what I will demonstrate in this tutorial, but I’m sure there’s lots of other software that can achieve the same effect.
TIME STACK TIPS
Here are a few things to keep in mind regarding timelapse source material for creating great time stacks:
1. Think of your source and subject material.
I have found that my best results come from shooting a scene which contains both fixed and moving elements. For example, a field with a barn and clouds moving overhead. A sunset thrown in the mix makes for some beautiful, colorful, smeared clouds.
2. Set your exposure levels on the brightest moving elements.
Your exposure levels play a significant role in the successful creation of a great time stack. Set your exposure based on the brightest moving elements. For example—with bright moving clouds, expose for the clouds. Aside from the sun, the clouds are usually the brightest part of my photos, so I use them to judge my exposure levels. If they are overexposed your time stack will have pure white streaks in the sky. Add too many of those together, and you’ll have a solid white sky.
3. Take note of the interval between shots.
Figure out the speed things are moving. You don’t need a radar gun. Just take a few test shots (two or three), and take note of the interval, which is the time between shots.
I’ll use clouds as an example, but this applies to any moving or changing elements in the timelapse. The speed that the clouds are moving along with the interval between shots can drastically affect how a time stack will look. For smooth-looking, painterly strokes made by the clouds, you’ll want to keep the distance that the clouds travel very short from one shot to the next. If the clouds are moving fast, you’ll want to use a shorter interval between shots.
On the next page we have the video with his processing techniques
GO TO THE NEXT PAGE FOR THE VIDEO