In many ways, we have become very complacent and spoiled when we consider what we have at our fingertips every time we reach for and use our smartphones. The power and possibilities they unlock are so advanced when you consider what was available to us twenty or even ten years ago.
The central importance these mini-computers afford us is clear for all to see, after all the amount of time we spend using them increases by the month and if we are honest, we couldn’t function well without them.
Clearly, a smartphone, or indeed any mobile phone, is now much more than a device for calling our friends and family, so much so that their use for making such calls is now of secondary importance.
A Million and One Great Uses
In 2022 the smartphone has evolved into a tool that can be used for a million and one great uses, from the mundane to the marvellous. Often our usage of them can be very perfunctory, be that with us endlessly scrolling through social media feeds to viewing a browser to keep up to date with the latest news and gossip.
However, there are many technical aspects that the modern smartphone offers us that we don’t take advantage of as much as we should. It’s almost as if we are content to use these ultra-smart machines for their most basic uses. Perhaps it’s time to try something new that will truly challenge the capabilities of your handheld computer?
Time Lapse Videos
One great way to make use of your smartphone, either for simple personal use or for making an excellent social media post to impress your thousands of followers, is to create a great time-lapse video.
You are probably now wondering how to make a timelapse video, and that’s where we can help you. Perhaps we should first consider some basics.
What is a Time-Lapse Video?
Perhaps the term ‘time-lapse video’ is alien to you, but you’ve almost certainly seen one and maybe didn’t realize it was one. A time-lapse video essentially captures a lengthy period of time and condenses it into a more manageable chunk. This can be used to either accentuate the change that has occurred during the lapse of time or for some other technical purpose.
As an example, a video might shoot at 24 frames a second, but you might alter this to 24 frames in the same 30 seconds, therefore spreading out those shots. This way you can film a long period and reduce this in size considerably.
Why and How to use a Time-Lapse Video?
There are many reasons to shoot a time-lapse video, and the ways to do so are numerous, but we’ll focus on how to do so with a common smartphone.
Firstly you should start by considering what it is you want to shoot. There are some standard subjects for time-lapse videos, such as charting a sunset or the blossoming of a flower or capturing the movement of traffic on a busy intersection. These examples can be amazing when shown in a time-lapse manner.
Whatever you are looking to capture, you need to decide what is it that is in the foreground and background. In other words, choose your subject matter in advance; this isn’t the kind of shot you can just hope to ‘wing it.’
As a time-lapse video requires you to shoot for a considerable period of time, minutes, hours, or even longer, you’ll need to have a tripod or some other way to keep your smartphone in a fixed position for that period of time. Don’t even consider opting to hold your phone for this practice as it is not practical.
Some smartphones have built-in ‘time lapse’ modes; others may offer this via a video mode; alternatively, you may need a third-party app to help you do so. An additional but more time-consuming option is to return to your camera and take the multiple, spread-out images yourself at a set interval.
As an example, for the final suggestion above, you could set up your camera to take a time-lapse video of a sunrise over a scenic scene, maybe a bridge, you could have your tripod set up for a 24 hour period, and then you may come to take the relevant shot every 20 minutes or so.
Clearly, using this ‘manual’ method requires more commitment, so we suggest you elect to use an app or built-in mode that does the hard work for you.
Here are some other key pointers to getting that perfect time-lapse video.
Time Lapse and Hyper Lapse, What’s the Difference?
Hyper-lapse videos are, traditionally, made by moving the camera in order to create the motion as opposed to a time-lapse, which is created by a motionless camera setting that collects video from one fixed point.
How Can I Find Time-Lapse Tools On My Phone?
You should start by checking the native camera on your phone. Take a look at what ‘modes’ are offered, and with a newer smartphone model, you may have a ‘time lapse’ setting that makes the whole process far easier.
Can I Create Time-Lapse Via Video Mode?
Yes, you can, and it may be the most straightforward way to do so in many ways. Here you simply video the subject, using a very high-quality video setting (we are talking 4K or Full HD), and due to the fact that these settings capture a great many frames per second, it’s, therefore, easier to create the time-lapse effect. Here you may have recorded 4 hours of video, but you can speed up the footage to create a seamless timelapse video.
These are just some opening basics when it comes to creating time-lapse videos, and we suggest that the best way to get to grips with the concept and the power of your smartphone is to get plenty of practice.