Time-Lapse & Long Exposure Cinemagraphs

A New Way of Capturing the World

A beautiful style of photography and videography, time-lapses and long exposure shots make for some stunning footage. Both styles capture the world in a way that we could never experience with just our eyes. Not only are time-lapse and long exposure videos often incredible, they are also great for making cinemagraphs. Let’s start with the basics- to create a successful cinemagraph, time-lapse or long exposure shot you first need a) a tripod, and b) something captivating to capture; (at least the first part, the second is recommended). In the last month this style has been created by many members of our Flixel community. Innovators and creative thinkers, we love the unique ways you’re using Cinemagraph Pro.

Time-Lapse Videography

Time-lapse is a technique in cinematography where the frequency of frames (the frame rate) is much lower than the playback speed. When you replay the sequence at a normal speed, time appears to be lapsing, or rather moving at a faster speed. An example of this could be a sunrise to sunset timelapse: normally takes a full day to see, but is sped up to create a 30 second video. Check out our Time-Lapse gallery for more beautiful cinemagraphs like the one below.

By: Arnaud Muller

Long Exposure Shots

Long-exposure/time-exposure photography uses a long-duration shutter speed to blur and smear moving elements while keeping stationary elements sharp and clear. Much of this is done during the nighttime creating beautiful streaks of light. An example is a long-exposure shot of a busy street, where the street is fixed and all of the cars leave long traces of light as they pass by.

By: Charles Gervais

Basic Gear:

Tripod. A solid, stable surface so that the camera is completely steady for the entirety of the shoot.

Remote Timer/Intervalometer. An automated camera trigger that can snap hundreds of photos at precise intervals.

Camera. A DSLR is ideal, unless shooting for a big screen or iMAX.

ND Filter. (For shooting in daylight). Like really good sunglasses for your camera, neutral density (ND) filters reduce the intensity of light without altering the colour. This allows for slower shutter speeds in bright environments. This is what also helps to capture motion blur from moving objects, as covered above in long exposure shots.

By: Eric Ooi

Light Comes to Life in Cinemagraphs

The combination of these techniques- time-lapse and long exposure- creates a beautiful video. This style of cinematography is popular when taking star-lapses. Star-lapses are long exposure time-lapses of the the stars while the earth rotates, creating an incredible dizzying effect. Taking this one step further, our Flixel community has begun making cinemagraphs from this unique video technique. Once filmed, they are super simple to edit into beautiful living photos. There is something so surreal and magical about them. It’s hard to look away.

By: Charles Gervais
By: Jason Teale

As cinemagraphs develop as a medium, it’s incredible to see the caliber and variation of living photos expand. Everyone at Flixel sees long exposure as a stunning and fun style of capturing the world, especially when combined with the art of cinemagraphs. Keep creating and trying new things! We can’t wait to see what other ways you will use cinemagraphs to tell stories.

For more tips on how to shoot time-lapse video, check out this informative link.

(Flixel Marketing Manager)

When Cassandra was six, she was asked to share a story with her class…and hasn’t stopped telling them since. Now she does so through photography, video and writing, but with the same sense of wonder - and love for glitter - as her inner kid.


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