Time-Lapse Software


Today’s Question: I’ve been doing a lot of nighttime shooting of the northern lights, and star trails. With the northern lights, I’ve been looking for a software program that will allow me to make a time-lapse video of 300-400 images.  Any suggestions??

Tim’s Quick Answer: My preference is to use video editing software to assemble time-lapse videos. This provides the additional benefit of being able to apply additional adjustments and effects to your final video. I use Adobe Premiere Pro for this purpose, but you could also employ Adobe Premiere Elements (http://amzn.to/2ovHnIH) if you prefer a more basic tool.

More Detail: With video editing software you can include still images, and specify the duration for each still. For example, if you specify that each still should be displayed for one frame, then for every thirty photos you’ve captured you’ll end up with one second of time-lapse video.

In Premiere Elements you can specify a default number of frames for each still image within the Preferences dialog. You can then import all of your still photos into your project, select them all, and add them to the timeline.

Another approach you could use in Premiere Elements would be to use the “Time Stretch” feature. With this approach you don’t need to specify a still image duration before you get started, letting the software fine-tune that setting by applying the “Time Stretch”.

You can find Premiere Elements (download version for Macintosh) here:


Note that Premiere Elements is also available for Windows, and you can also opt to purchase the software on DVD if you prefer.