Common Time Lapse Video Mistakes

By Carlos Hazbun | Cameras, Remote Project Management, Time Lapse | No Comments

Common Time Lapse Video Mistakes

A time-lapse camera can do wonders for your project, whether it’s used for keeping a digital track of construction over time, for sharing progress with clients, or even as a marketing tool for your services — the benefits can be enormous. Unfortunately, using this simple-yet-powerful piece of technology is not always as simple as some might think, and there are some simple tips that can ensure your timelapse is perfect for marketing purposes and blows away the competition.

Here are our top 4 tips to ensure a great time-lapse shoot.

1: Moving the Camera

This is one of the most common mistakes we see at ECAMSECURE, when committing to a timelapse it’s important to consider the angle and position of your camera in order to ensure that it captures the scene you want. If the timelapse is for clients then you must ensure that the camera stays properly positioned to capture the work’s progress and provide a full beginning to end video without any jarring movements or sudden changes of position. Slow movement of the camera may look good on nature time lapses, but they use mechanical rails to slowly move the camera over time. Any significant movement during the recording has the potential to ruin your shot.

This is just as important if you’re planning to use the footage for marketing purposes; even minor changes in the angle of the camera will leave the finished video looking choppy and unprofessional. Remember, once you’ve set the camera, don’t move it! Unless of course there are environmental factors to consider, on to point 2…

Time Lapse Camera Movement
Time Lapse Sun Glare

2: Avoiding Sun Glare

Another extremely common mistake is for a client to set up their time-lapse camera in a perfect position and leave it running for the duration of the project  When the project is underway or nearing completion, the client might look at the photographs taken and realise with a shudder that they are all unusable – the sun’s glare has ruined nearly every shot and now there is a portion of the build missing from the timelapse – not good! There is, of course, no going back in time to reshoot the photos at the varying stages of the project’s  development. Ensure that the camera is placed the correct way by determining the arc of the sun and ensuring that the sun is always behind the lens of the camera. If possible run the time lapse camera over a day as a test and ensure that all the photos are usable.

Depending on your location in the world and the duration of your project you may find that the arc of the sun changes over the course of time. Simply check your photos frequently to ensure the path of the sun has not crossed into the camera’s visual field. If it has, change the location. A cut in a video to a different angle can even be engaging and interesting.

3: Placing the Camera Incorrectly

This is another common mistake we see. A client has secured the camera without having given any thought to whether the shot covers what they need, or indeed if it is interesting and visually appealing, whether you’re using the timelapse to give progress updates to clients or as marketing material, you’ll want to make sure you’re making the most of the visual medium you’re using. This mean spending time and a little trial and error to find the right location. Even when you find the perfect spot, you will still need to make sure the sun’s glare will not cross the lens.

Usually, a high vantage point is interesting for the viewer as it’s not an angle they often get to see, it also allows the viewer to take in more of what is happening and therefore has greater potential to impress.

4: Not cleaning the camera lens

This is a simple one, but easy to forget. How frustrating must it be to have multiple days or weeks blocked out simply because the camera wasn’t cleaned and dust had accumulated on the lens? This is easily avoided, set a regular cleaning rota so that the lens is washed on a daily or weekly basis. This is especially important in dusty areas, or those where mist and rain might fog the lens  – in those case a daily or twice daily wipe down might be necessary.

Time Lapse Dirty Lens

Ultimately the timelapse has the power to provide compelling and interesting visual data to clients and prospective customers, with a little forethought many of the hurdles of the timelapse can be overcome. We hope this article helped you, if you have further questions or would like to book a free consultation to discuss your needs – contact us here.