Matt Molloy on Time Stacking

Readers of this blog will know that I am a big fan of Matt Molloy’s time stacking technique. He has taken an approach developed by starcircleacademy.com for long  astro photography time lapses and reimagined it as an approach for clouds.

“my favorite is often what I call “time stacking”. This technique of layering multiple still photos has been used for years to create “stars trails” from timelapse sequences.”

Matt’s technique is described in a blog post published on 500px.com last year. Its a great read and provides some insight into this approach.

Tutorial: Time Stack:

Published by Alexandra Kim · March 7th 2014

 

Today I’d like to introduce the brilliant Matt Molloy, photography enthusiast and budding professional. He’s the author of those amazing impressionist inspired photos. So many people have asked how to do this technique, and he’s been gracious enough to share it here with us! Please enjoy this Time Stack Tutorial.

I’ve always been amazed by timelapse photography and the unique perspective of time it gives you. Once I got into photography, it was a natural direction for me to go. The more I explored timelapse photography, the more I realized how versatile it is. You can get so much out of a timelapse; an interesting video; the perfect shot (selected from several hundred photos of the same scene), enhanced details and distortion correction (often done in astrophotography); or removing elements from a scene (like cars or people). Last, but not least, my favorite is often what I call “time stacking”. This technique of layering multiple still photos has been used for years to create “stars trails” from timelapse sequences.

Here is an example of a “star trail” image I created from a series of 305 photos.

Once I made a few star trail images, I wondered why I’ve never seen this technique used on daylight timelapses. I tried it and, after a little tweaking here and there, I was astounded by the resulting images! They are kind of like a super long exposure, showing a large chunk of time in a single image, which is very much like the Impressionist movement that some clever painters came up with around the year 1870.

Here is my very first attempt at a daylight “timestack”.

Here’s what you need to make a “time stack” yourself:

  1. A camera and an intervalometer (a device to make your camera take pictures repeatedly at a given interval). If you have a Canon camera, like I do, there’s a good chance that you can download free software called Magic Lantern that gives you lots of new features including an intervalometer built right into your camera. Perhaps there’s similar software for other brands of cameras, and if not, most cameras will be able to use a remote control that includes intervalometer function. Here’s a bunch of different remotes.

Continue reading at 500px / Blog / Tutorial: Time Stack.

 

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