How to Take a HYPERLAPSE

"A Hyperlapse is a series of photos that when combined into a moving picture creates a moving time-lapse effect... It looks sick!"

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Alright guys so in case you got so excited that you clicked straight past the title... this blog post is a step by step guide on how to TAKE a HYPERLAPSE. 

What is a Hyperlapse?
A Hyperlapse is a technique in time-lapse photography. A Hyperlapse allows a photographer to create motion from a series of still shots. In it's most basic form this method is achieved by moving the camera a short distance between shots. The first film that used the Hyperlapse technique is said to be 'Pacer' by Guy Roland in 1995. I couldn't find any record of the movie though so don't quote me on that one. It has been suggested that the first use of the term "hyper-lapse" was used by American filmmaker Dan Eckert in 2011.

Let's Break it down
Alright let's get into the process of taking a Hyper-lapse. I am going to break it down into 6 easy to follow steps that I go through when taking a Hyper-lapse.
STEP ONE: Pick a Location
There are a few criteria I tick off when picking a location for a Hyper-lapse;
-Is the subject that I am photographing stationary.
-Is the subject interesting. Hyper-lapses are cool regardless but try pick something that looks exciting or epic.
-Do you have room to actually create a Hyper-lapse? Remember you need to have a lot of room to move towards, along, around or through an object. You will be taking at least 200 photos so that's probably going to be 150 metres minimum.

The Shrine of Remembrance in Melbourne is a beautiful building that gives thanks to all those brave men and women that gave their lives in war time in order to give Australians the freedom they have today.

The Shrine of Remembrance in Melbourne is a beautiful building that gives thanks to all those brave men and women that gave their lives in war time in order to give Australians the freedom they have today.

STEP TWO: Get your Camera settings RIGHT.
It goes without saying that before you start shooting your hyper-lapse you need to make sure your camera settings are correct. Now if you are moving through shadows/ strong beams of light/ poorly lit doorways I would recommend finding the settings that are best suited as a balance between the different light. I wouldn't recommend changing your settings during a Hyper-lapse, it can look very odd. If you are going into a shadow or doorway people watching are expecting the light to drop so if it suddenly goes bright it's going to look unrealistic aye.
-Shutter Speed is going to be the main setting that you will adjust to suit the lighting of the day/night.  
-When it comes to Aperture I aim for somewhere between 5.6 and 11. This allows me to keep most of the image in focus.
-ISO for me generally stays at 100 but if you are wanting to add an element of grain to your video then move the ISO up and play with the effects. If you are shooting a Hyper-lapse at night you are more than like going to need to put your ISO up significantly (somewhere around 800-2500). Learn your camera's limits when it comes to ISO.

Test out your settings with some test shots in different locations along your hyper-lapse route.

Test out your settings with some test shots in different locations along your hyper-lapse route.

STEP THREE: Now we get to the easy part... kinda hahaha. Take your shot from your planned start point.
Now make sure you have planned the route you want to take before you start shooting. When you take your first shot from your starting spot make sure your camera is level and your centre point is locked on an easy visual aid.
-What I mean by visual aid is this: Say your object is a building. Find a doorway, pillar, window or easy to see stationary object. Mark this as your centre point. Now, in order to make the hyper-lapse smooth that object needs to be perfectly in the centre of every single image from start to finish. If it isn't... well.. you are going to end up with a very shaky hyper-lapse. Don't stress out to much if your shots are very slightly off, you can fix some of the movement in post production. But, the better you get the images in camera, the easier your life will be in post.

Take your time to get each shot centred and level. Hyper-lapses require a lot of patience.

Take your time to get each shot centred and level. Hyper-lapses require a lot of patience.

STEP FOUR: Check your photos.
Simple team, check each photo before you move. If you need to retake the shot then be sure to delete the shot you don't want to use. If you have two images in the same spot the hyper-lapse will look glitchy.

"Patient you must be.. better you will become."

"Patient you must be.. better you will become."

STEP FIVE: Take a step.
Take a step in whichever direction you have planned to go; forward, backward, left, right, around, zigzag, through an object ... get creative with your route.

Just take a regular step hahaha and make sure your shots are in better focus than this one.

Just take a regular step hahaha and make sure your shots are in better focus than this one.

STEP SIX: Repeat steps four and five until you have enough photos.
In general I aim for a minimum of 200 shots. To give you an idea 4 seconds worth of video is going to require just over 100 photos.

NOTES TO MAKE YOUR LIFE EASIER
-If you can use a tripod. It will take longer but your photos will be level every time and your centre point will be bang on.
-Turn on your grid display so it is easy to line up your centre point.
-Shoot in RAW format so it is easier to colour grade in Post.

Get out there and start creating a hyper-lapse!

Get out there and start creating a hyper-lapse!

The only thing left to do now is get out there and practice. It is going to take a few goes until you get the hang of it so just keep creating and before you know it your hyper-lapses will look amazing!
Comment below and let us know if; this blog was helpful, how your hyper-lapse turned out, any tips you might want to add and what else you want to learn.
Get out there, be confident and start creating!
Jacques
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