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Tips & Tricks

Tips for Successful Timelapse Photography with Corey Rich

By Chris Nachtwey on July 1st 2014

A great timelapse video is something really special. When done correctly, they can transport the viewer to a different world. I personally have always been interested in how one is shot from the actual shooting perspective vs. the post. I haven’t seen many behind the scenes videos explaining how to actually set up your gear to capture the amazing images needed to create a timelapse until now.


In the Nikon sponsored video below, Corey Rich shows you how he sets up his gear to create a beautiful star-filled timelapse.


Nikon D800

Nikkor 28mm f/1.4G



Corey does a great job explaining how he shoots a timelapse image.  Timelapses are multiple still images taken over time and put together to create a video. Knowing he is shooting still images, Corey treats his timelapse as a still photo first, composing his image perfectly. He then makes sure to lock down his tripod in place. A tripod is key, because you are going to be setting your camera to take images automatically using the interval timer and you are making long exposures that if not sturdy will look blurry.

Corey sets the interval timer (once you start your timer, it will keep making images automatically until your stop the camera, no need to hit a shutter release every 30 seconds) on his Nikon D800 to 45 seconds. He suggests always making the interval time between images longer than your exposure. His camera settings were very simple: 800 ISO, RAW, f/1.4 on a 28mm lens.


Finally, he uses a daylight-balanced LED light placed inside the tent on a very low output setting to illuminate the tent in the images.

corey-rich-timelapse-bts-4 corey-rich-timelapse-bts


I loved this quick little tutorial. The info was simple and easy to understand, and even if you are not making timelapse videos, you can use these same techniques to capture the stars on a clear night in a still image. I personally love that he used the LED light to illuminated the tent. Adding the tent to the foreground gives the final product a nice sense of adventure.

Via: Nikon USA Youtube

Images via screen capture. 

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Chris Nachtwey is a full-time wedding and portrait photographer based in Connecticut. He is the founder and creator of 35to220 a website dedicated to showcasing the best film photography in the world. Chris loves to hear from readers, feel free to drop him a line via the contact page on his website! You can see his work here: Chris Nachtwey Photography

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Brandon Dewey

    Great video and great tips!

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  2. Rafael Steffen

    This is a simple and great tutorial to have fun with your DSLR. I can’t wait to get out and practice this simple and yet amazing tutorial on time lapse photography.

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  3. Kate Hailey

    Great tips, I’ve done timelapses at sunset, but not yet tried an overnight one. I’d worry about someone walking off with the camera, haha!

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  4. Joe Marshall

    Nice simple tutorial. I have made a few timelapses, but I never seem to have the dedication to stay up all night for a stary one.

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    • Greg Faulkner

      Looks like he just sets it up and goes to sleep in his other tent Joe, just wake up the next morning and go home then spend sleepless nights editing the images together lol

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    excellent work …. big fan of timelapses

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  6. Ji Hoon Heo

    Canon needs to step it up and put a intervalometer into the stock firmware!

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  7. Servando Miramontes

    Man, I love this stuff… I always say, “You know, Im gonna give that a whirl…” and never do… Awesome stuff!

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  8. Michael Chapman

    Excellent video and article – thanks!

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  9. Eric Deschamps

    He makes it look so easy!

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  10. Michel Levesque

    Just built my first timelapse. Its good enough technically, but I agree with Corey that before setting the tripod and intervalometer, you have think first as composing a great still shot. This is where I missed the boat on mine !

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