What is a hyper-lapse? How is it different from time-lapses?
Panorama Photography Street Photography Travel Photography
November 30, 2018

In case you have heard the term hyper lapse photography and wondering how it is different from time lapse photography, you have just arrived at the correct place. Now what is time lapse photography? It is a type of photography in which an event is shown in a much shorter duration of time. The entire event seems sped up, creating a lot of excitement in the final video. Once the shots are taken, they are processed and later put together in a video sequence to manufacture the final product. Hyper lapse photography, on the contrary, is a type of time lapse photography except for the fact that the camera moves in each of the shots thus helping the audience connect to the video in a better way. Let us take a look at the steps to shoot a hyper lapse video.



Image courtesy: youtube

  1. Gear: A hyper lapse can be done with any camera. A DSLR camera is always preferable. Choose a wide angle lens in case you are looking to shoot a travel video. I prefer the prime lenses for hyper lapse because of the better clarity and the fact that the focal length needs no changing during the shoot. A sturdy tripod is a must. You must get a tripod that supports more than the weight of the camera gear you are using. Although the camera will be on the move, the shots must be super stable. A neutral density filter may be required in case you are looking to shoot long exposure images. An intervalometer may or may not be required depending on your comfort since it will give you specific time intervals to get a shot, move with your camera and get the next one. This may not be very comfortable for beginners. A remote shutter cable is required in case you are not using the intervalometer. In case you don’t have one, you can use the self-timer of the camera itself. This is just to ensure that no shakes are introduced when you press the shutter button of your camera.


  1. The process of shooting a hyper lapse: Composition is the key to shooting a great hyper lapse since it is going to change every time the position of the camera changes. Mount the camera gear on to the tripod and get ready for your first frame. The exposure triangle parameters will depend entirely on what you are looking to shoot. For example, if it is an architectural building that you are making a hyper lapse of by surrounding it, shoot with an aperture of f5.6 – f8 to get the entire building in sharp focus. The shutter speed will depend on whether you want to shoot long exposure shots. Keep the ISO at the minimum to attain maximum sharpness and zero noise. Now since you are going to move around the building in a circular path, it is better to chalk out the path, if possible. If not, a clear idea of the path is required. With the above set of exposure triangle parameters, take the first shot. Once done, check for the composition. Take a couple of steps forward with the camera gear. Remember, the number of steps you are going to take between each shot should remain the same. More the number of steps, shorter your hyper lapse video is going to be. With the approximate idea of the distance you need to cover, you will have to estimate the number of steps you need to take between each of your shots. Once you move ahead, get the second shot but don’t forget to check the composition again. The entire building needs to be covered with a bit of foreground and a bit of the sky. Obviously, your composition may vary from this as this is just a general guide for beginners. Repeat these steps through the entire path to complete the process. Once you have your set of images ready, import them to a post processing tool and bring in the punch to your images. For this, you must shoot in raw mode. Batch process your images till they are all ready for the final stage. Import all these images into video editing software and play them. You are ready with your hyper lapse video.


  1. The differences between hyper lapse and time lapse: Hyper lapse is quite similar to a time lapse as we have already noticed. However, let us take a look at a few of the differences.


  1. Camera movement: The camera remains stationary in time lapse photography. Even if there is movement, it is ever so slight without grabbing any significant attention. On the other hand, the camera is continuously moving after every shot in hyper lapse photography albeit the camera is fixed while taking the particular shot. Hence time lapse videos show the passing of time whereas the hyper lapse videos depict the passing of space.

  2. Composition challenges: Once you select a particular composition in time lapses, it remains fixed throughout the video. The scenario in hyper lapse is much more challenging as the composition is changing every time you move the camera. Hence hyper lapse photography requires your continuous involvement throughout the entire duration of the shoot unlike time lapses where you can set up your gear and digital timer and go for a snack.

aMa56ZtiEb37b1SdEdYz7fvyIFTyEpGH_WwrXwgvQUU0DRG0bGeSMtbhv0FgAYSzrWp60bln-rAyJ6F1Co2bL4JpMrhCGu50ZCj3YGLEh7cC4DPMBufG-tFASZaMlw7GodEQUq0uBHfXLJ0C2QImage courtesy: youtube


Hyper lapse photography requires even more practice than time lapses because of the continuous movement of the camera. The composition has to be perfect all the time. This makes hyper lapses quite challenging and tedious. However this is what works for hyper lapses as well. The continuous movement manages to connect to the audience more often than not. The passing of time and space in hyper lapses makes such videos amazing and worth watching. By following the guidelines, you should be ready to get out there with your first hyper lapse concept in mind! A warm welcome to the amazing world of hyper lapse photography!

Home image courtsey: https://unsplash.com/photos/BT3P35p_MDc

Panorama Photography Street Photography Travel Photography
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