I know this isn’t anything necessarily new to the realm of photography, but actually doing it is new to me. A quick Google search will yield all sorts of useful information and get you asking lots of questions. Do get discourages, this is actually pretty easy to do.
What you need: camera, tripod and Intervalometer (some cameras – both newer & older – may have this built-in) to capture frames and then software to put them all together.
Getting started: find an interesting scene with movement/action. Clouds look neat and that is what I chose to experiment with. Set up your camera on a tripod and focus on something in your scene. Turn off auto everything (e.g. focus, white balance, vibration control, etc.). Use manual mode to find a favorable exposure. If doing and sunrise or sunset scene you may want to start or end darker/lighter in your exposure. For a sunrise I would think you would have to guess about where you would end up exposure-wise so your scene doesn’t become blown out. I am not 100% on this as I have not read up on it or experienced it yet. Set the intervalometer for the desired length of time; I have used between 1-5 minutes. This will depend greatly on what you are capturing.
Post process and output images: process like you would any other photo, crop and output.
Putting it all together: I did another Google search to find free time lapse photography software. I went with VideoVelocity by candylabs. It is pretty straight forward, easy and free for low quality output. I was happy with the software features. You can purchase the studio version for $99 and other versions ranging from $49 to $59.
For the example below, I used “Create video from files – Fast moving video.” You simply point the application to the folder of your images, select an output speed, name your project and BLAMO (aka Enter Key) – all done.
This looked like something fun to try. I can’t wait to play with this more with night photography as well as on an upcoming trip to the Minnesota North Shore. Hopefully there will still be Autumn color to compliment the sun rises and sets while we are there.
42 frames of clouds captured while eating dinner (1 frame/minute, 42 minutes = 5 seconds of video).