Time-lapse photography in ski resorts

For those not familiar with time-lapse, you’ll find most Android and all iPhones come pre-equipped with a camera shooting mode called ‘time-lapse’. Virtually all action cameras (such as GoPros) have a time-lapse mode as do many compact and DSLR cameras. So most of us already have a camera that does the job.

The camera will take a photograph every few seconds and link them together to create a super fast speed video. This can be great when used to show something unfolding over a period of time.

David Attenborough and the BBC used time-lapse with amazing effect in their groundbreaking 1995 documentaries The Private Life of Plants. Time-lapse revealed the character and behaviour of plants by speeding up their slow pace to animal friendly speeds.

A piste side static time-lapse in La Plagne

Just imagine all the ways you can use time-lapse to bring to life the activities and excitement of the mountains.

Add dynamism with a time-lapse turner

The time-lapse turner is really a glorified egg timer. You simply twist it to wind it up, fix your camera and set it to take a time-lapse recording.

Now your time-lapse photography will pan slowly across the scenery taking in the fast paced motion of the scene. This rotation adds a whole new dynamic to time-lapse footage compared with taking a static time-lapse and can be used creatively in all kinds of ways.

Take a look at our short video showing you the basics of setting up a panoramic time-lapse.

Tips for using a time-lapse turner in the snow

Make sure you know which way it will turn! It’s surprisingly easy to forget which way your time-lapse turner rotates, if you get it wrong you may end up shooting all the wrong things.

Consider a spike end selfie stick or monopod to elevate your time-lapse and give you more control over where you can set up.

Leave it long enough! With my time-lapse turner it takes 60mins to turn through 360 degrees, if you only have a few mins to get a shot, time-lapse isn’t going to do the job.

Adjustable timings between time-lapse frames can really help in capturing the right effect. As a general rule the higher the frame rate the better it captures quicker movements or changes in the scene. Slower frame rates are best for things that move slowly. The iPhone offers a single frame rate of 6 seconds which is a happy middle ground for general use. Go Pro and other action cameras have adjustable time-lapse frame rates making them perfect for capturing a perfect time lapse.

Which time-lapse turner to buy?

You can buy the turner from as little as £11 (like this one by Andoer) and as much as £116 (like this one by Mantona), we use a pretty average one (by Veho) and have found it works perfectly well.

General build quality comes with price, the first I bought was as cheap as they come, it worked fine for a few months but then broke. You can also fork out extra for variable rates of turn. A serious time-lapse photographer would want to set the frame rate and rotation to perfectly suit their subject so as to get the best possible shot.

Getting awesome footage of your time out on the snow is a great way to share your experiences and save your memories for years to come. Adding some time-lapse photography to the mix makes it even better and adds an interesting twist to your media. We hope this article has inspired you to get your cameras outs and have a go, we’d love to see the footage you take.

Send us your best ski time-lapse from this season and we’ll award the best time-lapse of the month with a £20 Amazon gift voucher. Happy time-lapsing!

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