Shooting Challenge: Timelapse

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Timelapse photography gives you a super fast version of events, as if you're seeing the world the world through immortal eyes. So for this week's Shooting Challenge, make us all feel immortal.

The Challenge

Take a timelapse. (Don't know how? No problem! If you have a smartphone, it's easy!) Then upload the finished version to YouTube or Vimeo.

The Technique

So I think everyone here knows what a timelapse is, but just in case, it's a series of photos taken at preset intervals—sometimes seconds, sometimes minutes, sometimes hours—then combined into one amazing clip that captures the passage of time.

Your point-and-shoot or dSLR may very well have an "interval" timing mode, which allows you to set your camera somewhere and automatically take photos. iOS 8 has the feature built right in, and there's plenty of of Android software out there, too.


As for the technique itself, here's a great tutorial for those of you using an SLR. (Manual mode is your friend! Auto can screw things up.) But the big question will be, what is your interval? Check out this flickr message board for a decent discussion on how to plan the gaps between your shots.

The Example

Our lead example, by National Geographic's Stian Rekdal, is built from 40,000 photos, condensed to 3,500. And it boldly features some advanced movements (that you'd be brave to attempt without specialized equipment). And it's in Iceland. And it's amazing. And it's, hopefully, a bit inspirational to get started.

The Rules

1. Submissions need to be your own.

2. Timelapse must be taken this week.

3. Explain, briefly, the equipment, settings, technique and story behind shot.

4. Email submissions to, not me.

5. One submission per person.

6. Use the proper SUBJECT line in your email (more info on that below)

7. You agree to the Standard Contest Rules - though we DO accept non-US resident submissions.


8. If the image contains any material or elements that are not owned by you and/or which are subject to the rights of third parties, and/or if any persons appear in the image, you are responsible for obtaining, prior to submission of the photograph, any and all releases and consents necessary to permit the exhibition and use of the image in the manner set forth in these rules without additional compensation. If any person appearing in any image is under the age of majority in their state/province/territory of residence the signature of a parent or legal guardian is required on each release.

Send your video by Monday, November 24th at 10 AM Eastern to with "Timelapse" in the subject line. Save your files as YouTube or Vimeo clips. No raw video files, please!


UPDATE: Some of you pointed out an oddity with the contest deadline. Our mistake! You have until Monday, November 24th to turn in entries.