Five Common Long Term Time Lapse Mistakes (and How to Avoid Them!)

by Sarah Wallace April 04, 2019

Five Common Long Term Time Lapse Mistakes (and How to Avoid Them!)

While time lapse photography can be easy, there are links in the chain that need to be considered. There are a few common mistakes that can ruin a project, if you’re not careful. Here are five common long term time lapse mistakes to avoid to ensure successful projects.

1. Lack of planning

The majority of work in a successful time lapse project is done before you ever take a single photo. The planning step of the process is by far the most important, but unfortunately, we see all too often that it is also the step that is most rushed through. Taking the time to consider what the end goal is crucial to a successful project (e.g. type of video, use cases, clip/video length, realistic power needs, site requirements, camera field of view, etc.).

We offer a few simple yet extremely valuable tools to aid you in this process. If you’re just starting out, check out this guide to get started. Or check out our definitive guide to long term construction timelapse. And use our time lapse calculator to help plan out your power and SD card requirements.

2. Lack of testing

Going hand-in-hand with #1 is lack of testing. Testing should be a part of your planning phase. You should allow time for adequate testing to ensure your gear is working properly, is set up properly and is resulting in the photos (quality, framing, interval, etc.) that you want. You should be very comfortable with the products and process, and know what to expect. It’s a common occurrence for a customer to place a rush order for a time lapse kit that will be used in a big project that is starting in a matter of a few days. We cringe and hold our breath in these scenarios, as the project is being exposed to risk by not taking the time to thoroughly test.

3. Setting-it, forgetting it & expecting everything to work perfectly

So you’ve thoroughly planned and tested everything. You’re good-to-go and can ignore it for 8 months, right? Wrong. With so many variables at play, you need to ensure you check your kit regularly. It is so important to check in to ensure everything is running smoothly: that the camera is firing when it should be, that the cables are connected correctly, that your SD card isn’t corrupt. Keep in mind there are other things that could go wrong. Something could block the shot (perhaps your lens has been obstructed by an object, dirt… or even bird poop (yes, this has happened)!).

We urge customers to utilize UpBlink and CloudX to be able to remotely check the site to ensure everything is running as it should be. This peace of mind is invaluable!

4. Not utilizing schedules properly

As part of the planning phase, you should consider what scheduling you require. When is the action you’re trying to capture really taking place? If you’re working on a construction project and the work is only being done from 9am-5pm from Monday through Friday, then you don’t want images being captured outside of those hours,  or on Saturday and Sunday. Similarly, you don’t want to set too-short of an interval for action that is relatively slow moving. For example, you don’t need a short time lapse interval for the majority of an 8-month construction project however you might want to speed it up when the roof is being put on.

Capturing too many images will drain your battery and the result is hundreds --if not thousands-- of unnecessary images to sort through in post-production. Or worse, it will result in a very boring (and likely, way-too-long) video. Do yourself a favor and set your schedules to align with only the active times, possible. You’ll thank yourself later!

5. Not using the footage along the way

You're taking the time to capture all of this great footage. Why not make it work harder for you? With CloudX Pro you can create a time lapse video of any time past such as last month and share it with stakeholders or your marketing team. Similarly, why not search for images by date range to check up on those sub-contractors and their invoicing! The footage is there, so be sure to use it!


Time lapse doesn’t have to be overwhelming or daunting. All of these common mistakes have to do with taking a little time to think through your site, the end goal and the requirements ahead of time. And we’re here to help. Contact us if you have any long term time lapse questions.

Ready to start? Buy UpBlink today.

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Sarah Wallace
Sarah Wallace

Author



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