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Tutorials / Tips

How To Shoot An Epic Sunset Time-Lapse on A GoPro



Here is a video I made a few months back going over some important tips and tricks on how to film an epic sunset time lapse on your GoPro. Feel free to comment down below if you have any questions.

When shooting a sunset timelapse with your GoPro Hero 5 there are a couple of things to keep in mind that will help you capture amazing timelapses.

  1. Planning: Make sure you allow yourself enough time to get to your location. Allow sufficient time for travel and setup. Make sure you pack your camera gear carefully, rushing can lead to a forgot item or sloppy composition. Pay close attention to the time this is especially important when filming a sunset or sunrise time lapse. There are calculator and data sites that help you plan your sunset timelapse providing good information on sunset/sunrise times in your area. I like to pack my camera bag well in advance just so I don’t in hast forget to pack an important piece of gear. This includes double checking to make sure your GoPro batteries are fully charged.
  2. Location: Try and avoid people and populated areas when possible. Nothing can be more frustrating or ruin a great shot than someone walking in your GoPro’s field of view. It has happened to me several times and is sometimes just part of the possess. By choosing unpopulated areas to shoot you lessen the chance of this happening. On the other hand sometimes this can add to the shot, for example, a busy beach at sunset can be visually interesting.
  3. Composition & Clouds: Of all the tips one can offer for creating beautiful time lapses, composition tops my list. Arriving at your location a little early allows you time to survey the landscape and decide the best angels to line up your shot. At this point, it’s all personal preference, be creative and don’t be afraid to try new things. Our best teacher is trial and error. Personally I only shoot sunsets on days where the clouds are perfect, and by that, I mean, not too many and not too few. Proper clouds help reflect the colors of the sunset and the movement makes it more dramatic Make sure to include lots of sky when composing your shot. Unfortunately, the clouds are not always cooperative. Many times I have left to shoot a sunset time lapse with perfect cloud cover and by the time I reached my location the clouds had dissipated. Try shooting through trees or grasses, even a nice rock in the for ground can add a nice dynamic dimension to your finished time lapse.
  4. Duration of Shot: Allow your GoPro to capture a sufficient amount of data. Personally, I like to film sunsets for about an hour and a half. This gives me a desirable length when shooting at a 5 sec interval. It allows for more choices when editing. It’s better to have too much data to work with than not enough.
  5. Editing: To really make your final time-lapse pop, some basic editing is required. There are many great paid or free applications such as GoPro Studio to help pull out the colors of the sunset and even add some zoom or pan effects, play around, be creative and most importantly…have fun!

One of my favorite aspects of shooting time lapses on my GoPro is it allows me to slow down and enjoy the moments. Life can be busy and hectic and being at a location for over an hour allows me to enjoy the beauty of nature around me, relax, maybe catch up on some reading and just catch my breath.