Creating a high quality time-lapse video using Lightroom and Premiere

Let's explore getting started with time-lapse photography! If you have been interested in how to create this effect I will walk you through the steps, but first, we need to make sure you have the right gear.

Apart from your camera, there is only one piece of gear that is crucial to getting the shot. That is the shutter release with an intervalometer. That's just a fancy way of saying it will shoot in specific intervals that you set without you needing to interact with the camera or the shutter release. Unfortunately, this is not currently an item my supplier ProMaster carries and so I will be linking you to a couple of options at Amazon. You can pick up one of these items for about $20. I think you will find you will get much more value from this simple product. Here are a few links for Nikon, Canon, and Sony. If one of these doesn't work a search with the words interval shutter release [Camera Manufacturer and Model] should result in some option for you.

 One thing to keep in mind. Some newer cameras will have this feature built into the camera. Check your manual (or Google) and see if this feature is available to you before purchasing a shutter release.


Ok, No more delays! Let's get into how we can create great time-lapse videos. This is what we will be creating:



For the purposes of this tutorial, we will assume the final video will be in 24 frames per second (fps). Feel free to change this and make your videos in any fps you desire but keep in mind it changes things below.

Let's get into it.

Step 1: Decide on your video length

Decide on how long you would like your time-lapse to be. In this case, the final time-lapse is 10 seconds. I chose to speed up this video by 250%, there's no correct number here, you can speed up your video as much or as little as you would like to get the effect you want. So if we want to finish our video at 10 seconds and we're speeding it up by 250% we do need to do some basic math so we know how long our raw video needs to be.

speed increase as percentage / final video length = raw video length
250 / 10 = 25 seconds

Now that we know our video length we can determine how many photographs we need to take in order to create our video. At 24 fps we need to take 600 photos

frames per second x length of video
24 x 25 = 600 frames


Step 2: Choose your interval length

Again with choosing your interval there's not necessarily a right answer. The interval essential determines the time period across which you are capturing your time-lapse within the previously set fps and video length. It is generally recommended to shoot in an interval between 3 seconds and 10 seconds. Let's say we choose 3 seconds as our interval. This means that you will capture 20 frames every minute, which means the video will cover a 30-minute time frame.

The longer your interval the more time your time-lapse will cover within your set video length.

Experiment and play with the settings until you get the look you want!

Ok so with the math out of the way and understanding how we are going to get our 600 individual photos it's time to go out and shoot.


Step 3: Shoot your shot

Get out there and compose your photo, find that perfect location!


Step 4: Import and Edit

Import your photos into your favorite editing program. I'm a big fan of Lightroom and recommend it without hesitation. It also makes the editing part of this tutorial extremely simple. After you have imported your photos you are going to just edit the first image in your sequence.




As you can see my originals needed some heavy lifting! Part of that was to show the effect of a good edit but the other part is me not quite capturing the right exposure.

After editing the first image to your liking you will then select all images and press the Sync button.

Once you have synced your edit, review them just to be sure the synced edit works across all images and that you like the final form your photos have taken. And then Export those photos into their own folder.


Step 5: Set up your video

It's now time to jump into Adobe Premiere and create our time-lapse. Create a new project and then the first step is to make sure you set up your project preferences and that the project is at 24 fps (or your desired fps).


 Edit > Preferences > Media

Frames per second





Step 6: Import your sequence

Now that our project is set up we want to import our photos as a video sequence.

 File > Import

Choose the first image be sure to click on  "Image Sequence"




When importing multiple photos be sure to just select the first in the folder you are importing and make sure you have selected "Image Sequence". Then click "Open"

Premiere will create a single sequence that will be much more manageable than working with hundreds of individual images!

Step 7: Speed it up

Now that we have a sequence lets speed up our video! Drag the sequence onto the timeline

Then you are going to right-click on the sequence and choose "Speed/Duration"

 Right Click > "Speed/Duration"

Enter your speed as a percentage



Enter any percentage you would like to modify the clip to your desired length. The "Duration" section will change as you are changing the percentage to tell you how long the final clip will be.


And that's it! All that's left now is to get creative with how you use these clips. You have a great time-lapse you can use as a stand-alone clip, maybe add some music cut it into another video, use it as a transition. The only limit is your own creativity.

I hope you found this useful! If so I would love to see what you create, if not I'm always looking for feedback on how I could help you better, so shoot me an email or leave us a comment.



Now get out there and Photograph Your Adventure!


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