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As we advance through photography techniques like tilt-shift and motion blur, new and novel techniques have been developed. Now there is the option to capture time lapses, but with a drone! Time lapse is a photo technique where the frames are captured are much lower than that used to view the sequence. For instance, when the film roll is played at normal speed, time is appeared to be moving faster and therefore, time lapsing. Check out this dreamy time lapse captured with a DJI Phantom 4 and a DJI Phantom 4 Pro+.

The bulk of time lapse photography is captured via cameras mounted on tripods to ensure stable images. So, the next logical question is, how can we capture time lapse videos with drones that are moving through the sky? Outlined below are five tips to create the best time lapse video with a drone:

1. Set Your Camera Settings

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When you want to capture the best time lapse clip, you have to make sure you camera settings are perfect. For instance, say you wanted to time lapse the sun setting behind a city landscape. These are the following settings you’ll want to have on your drone:

  • Shoot in Log or RAW formats
    • useful for post editing
  • Keep your ISO range from 800-1600 depending on drone model
    • this will help bring out shadows and limit the noise
  • Adjust your White Balance before you start recording
    • When you have established your desired location, adjust the AWB to a setting that suits you

2. Scout out Local Weather

Wind will be enemy number one! Even though drones now rely on satellite positioning, the wind can still knock your drone a few inches or even a few feet to skew your shot. Make sure when you are flying that the wind is minimal and that you are locked onto more than 6 satellites to ensure minimal movement or shake during flight.

3. Bring Extra Accessories

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The last thing you want when you are flying in the sky is a low battery warning or even running out of space on your memory card. Time lapses take a lot of time to develop simply because you are recording or taking photos for an extended amount of time. On top of that, drone batteries typically last on average anywhere from 15-30 minutes. Hence, bringing a few extra batteries and SD cards might be useful especially if you are shooting or recording in 4K.

4. Be Patient

Time lapses take a while. Be prepared to be sitting for a while as your drone does a lot of the work. Do not forget to keep an eye on your shot as lighting and imagery can change. Plus, you will most likely have to swap out your drone battery, so make sure to peek at your battery percentage time to time to ensure enough time to land your drone back to it’s takeoff location.

5. Become Familiar with Post Editing Techniques

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As painstaking as it may sound, time lapse videos take a lot of editing in post, especially if you are using a drone. Most drones now come equipped with 3-axis stabilized gimbals, but due to the shaky nature of drones, you will definitely have to stabilize in post to eliminate the shaky corners. The top aspects to perfect in post are: format/resolution, frame rate, composition, and your own style for color grading.

To get started with your very own drone time lapse, visit Lumoid to try out the latest and greatest photography and drone equipment. Lumoid has all the accessories and parts to capture the most epic time lapse. With numerous drone choices and abundant gadgets and gizmos, your very own time lapse will be mesmerizing.

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