sedona scenic from time lapse stills

Using Still Frames from Time Lapse

When making a time lapse (view time lapse video here) image you can leverage a thing I often do to create a solid look of a scene by using images captured over a time period to get the best of all worlds. As our eye can change the size of the pupil in any scene when looking into the shadow or highlight area we sometimes need to arrest time and blend it into a single image to represent what the eye would actually see. I call this an advanced form of HDR imagery as the images are not captured in one go but with the camera on a tripod blend images that were made while the sun was up, as it was going down, and long after it had crept below the horizon.

highway 179 sedona scenic photoHere’s the final image.

four images combinedHere are the images combined and used to create the final. The photo on the left was used for the treeline across the bottom. Next image was used for the cloud formations. The third image was used for the red rocks. and the final image was blended for the deep colbalt-blue sky.

Why use Multiple Images?

I went back and selected images based on the subject matter that was exposed exactly for the area of the scene and using masks blended them together for the final look.

The use of images captured over time verses capturing all the images in a single HDR capture is the quality of the information in the highlight areas and shadow areas as they are captured exactly as they should. This will give you less noise in shadows and cleaner highlights, allow the glow of light in a scene and more.


A Lumix GH4 was mounted on a  tripod with the 7-14mm f4 Vario lens. Images were captured every three seconds over a long time period for the time lapse video. If I was using this for the ultimate capture of a scene verses also for a time lapse I would set the interval for more like an image every five minutes or so.

Yours in Creative Photography,    Bob

PS – this technique can also lead to multiple iterations and mood of a scene… Try it you’ll like it!


Be Sociable, Share!


sedona scenic from time lapse stills — 2 Comments

  1. Ken Johnson on said:

    Was the Lumix set on aperture priority and a specific ISO, allowing just the shutter speed to vary?

    • successfulbob on said:

      Correct Ken, This was set exactly as you said. The idea is you are able to take the individual images and blend them together as a final. One thing to be careful of when making the time lapses is to avoid flicker when using a setting that allows the camera to make decisions. I’ve found so far that using the auto settings has worked well using the Lumix cameras…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *