Shooting Timelapse on Your Smartphone: Top Tips



Shooting timelapse on your smartphone is simple, but can be very effective in creating stunning visuals. You can use the native app on your phone, but even though they are nice and simple to use, they may give you limited controls. 

For instance, the iPhone native app does timelapse, but no matter how long you record for, it'll turn it into a 30-40 second video. The longer you shoot for, the more frames it'll drop to keep to that duration. 


If you want more control then for iPhone you could try:



When it comes to shooting timelapses, here are some tips:


Use a Tripod

You want your shot to be static, with the only movement being what is in your frame. If you do not use a tripod, when you speed up the footage it makes the shake look even worse. Always use a tripod, even a mini tripod, rather than film hand-held. 

Film Movement

It may seem obvious, but make sure there is enough movement happening for the timelapse to work. Traffic, crowds walking, auditoriums filling and the sun rising or setting are all good examples. If not enough movement happens in the shot, then speeding it up will not make it look any more interesting. 


Use Clouds

When you do not have movement in the foreground, you can always use clouds to add movement. So, for example, if you were filming a building and it was very still and boring, you could shoot a timelapse. This would make the clouds in the sky whizz above the building, creating a more dynamic shot.


Lock Your Settings

Make sure you lock your focus and brightness. If you leave your phone camera in auto mode it'll keep adjusting. This will ruin your shot, especially if you're filming a sunset. As the sun goes down, the camera will brighten the shot to compensate. Instead of it slowly getting dark, the automatic mode will fight to keep the shot bright, spoiling the effect. 

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