The key to a successful time-lapse project is simple: Set up the camera someplace interesting, and then don't move it. Not a smidgen. Not a breath. While this sounds easy, you might be surprised at just how much you bump into your camcorder in the rigors of using the thing. Even if you set the camera on a table or use a tripod, just touching the Record button to turn it on and off is too much contact. So part of preparing for a time-lapse shoot is finding the remote control that (hopefully) came with your digital camcorder. You may have thought the remote control was only for playing back tapes, but the control also has a red Record button, and this is what you should use to start and stop your camera when you create a time-lapse project.
With camera and remote control, you're ready to find a subject and get set up.
Your tripod needn't be a fancy, pricey model designed for video; it can be an inexpensive, old still-photography tripod. The difference is in the "head"the top part of the tripod that holds the camera and swivels around. For video, the swiveling must be slow and smooth, and the mechanics to execute this (usually involving what is known as a fluid head) are expensive. A still-photography tripod just needs to lock the camera down and hold it stationarymuch more affordable. Jennifer uses a tripod that's about 25 years old but works like a charm.