The complete guide to shooting and editing a holy grail timelapse matjoez

In postproduction we’ll be using a specialised timelapse editing software called LRTimelapse to fix this flicker. If you’d like a quick rundown of what this software is check out the following video. Keep in mind that this isn’t the only way to create holy grail timelapses. I’ll link to more ways to shoot and edit at the end of this article.

You’d be surprised, I’m sure. As complicated as the shot used to be, it’s very straight forward now. All you need is a camera with manual mode, a lens, an external remote, a tripod and a subject to shoot. I’ve set up a little Kit list of the specific gear I used in this tutorial. I’d call this my go to list of timelapse gear now. The Canon 6DMkII has gotten a lot of bad press, which just shows me that you shouldn’t always trust reviews or people’s opinions.


If it’s the right tool for you, then that’s all that matters. I’ll be writing a proper review about the 6DMkII now that I’ve been shooting with one for over a year.

Now that we’ve got all the gear and settings covered, let’s have a look at how to actually shoot the holy grail. In short: you will be keeping an eye on the histogram or exposure level and adjust the shutter speed and eventually ISO speed in between photographs until the light stops changing. The reason we are using an external remote or intervalometer is because it is much easier to ‘stop and start’ the sequence to change settings and check the exposure than when using a software solution. When triggering the camera from the menus you have to push many more buttons which means you might accidentally change your framing (this kills the shot).

• Once your exposure reaches half of your interval you can start ramping your ISO. To be honest, this is just a guideline. You can change either or whenever, this is just to make sure the exposure doesn’t come too close to your interval length which might result in your camera failing to trigger (because it is still processing the previous photo). This will make your footage ‘jump’ in time and is very undesirable.

• Hit the Visual Previews button and let it run. Once it’s done generating preview files hit the play button and review the sequence. This is where you can go back to Lightroom and adjust your 4 star images and repeat some of this process to get the desired look. You’re better off with this preview than letting it export the full resolution file over a few hours only to discover that you want it to look slightly different.

• Once happy with the Visual Preview hit Visual Deflicker. This will add a darker orange curve to the viewer window which is a visual representation of the deflickering it will apply, based on the rectangle in your image. Let this run and generate the complete preview, then review it by hitting the play button. You can refine part of or the entire sequence using the custom settings and run it again. You’ll be surprised at how amazing this step is and how much it can fix.

And that’s it! I know this may seem like a lot but it really isn’t that bad. LRTimelapse has come such a long way (I’ve been using it professionally since 2012), by now all you have to do is shoot a clean sequence and follow the steps in the software. It’s almost completely plug and play now. Back in the early days we had to manually add each and every keyframe and do much, much more work. I’ve actually used the latest versions of LRTimelapse to reprocess older sequences that I thought were unsalvageable. Thanks to Gunther’s great coding work though the software has become much more powerful and is able to rescue footage from the depths of your ‘failed’ folders.