December 4, 2022


Capturing Magic Moments

Is stop motion the makeover your images were missing?

4 min read

If you’ve ever posted a photo where you masterfully designed your shadows, created an asymmetrical balance and selected a brilliant color palette, only to see it surpassed by a roll of a 20-year-old aimlessly walking down a sidewalk down and in utter despair then this is for you. In this article, I’ll show you how to take skillfully crafted images and easily stitch them together into stop motion. The artist signs a contract with Insta.

what will you need

To make a stop motion look professional, you only need a few things. First a tripod. You want the frame of the picture to be exactly the same in all shots. You need to set up your camera on a tripod, assemble your frame and lock it. Second, you need lighting that doesn’t change. Whether you’re using strobes, LED lights, or ambient lighting, you need to make sure your light stays the same throughout the shoot. Third, if you’re shooting for use on Instagram, I found it easiest to shoot in a 1:1 ratio. You can find this option in your camera settings under “Crop/Aspect Ratio”. Finally, you need an application to glue the pictures together. You can use Photoshop or (more on that later) an app called Lifelapse.

Conception and shooting

Stop motions focus on the movement. Whether it’s a person jumping, pouring a liquid, or lathering a soap, movement is the hero in this story. Think creatively. Here are a few I made recently if that helps your mind to come up with its own creative concepts.

Once you have your idea, set up your scene. Set up your composition, lock your camera settings and shoot. Remember that your frame and lighting must be the same. The only element that changes is the movement.

Editing and merging

After taking photos, the next step is to make the images look their best. Import and edit your images. As I shoot commercial contracts I always shoot raw, go into detailed editing and export to JPEG for stitching. Depending on how your recording will be used, your process may look different. You may want to shoot in “small” JPEG format and apply an action when importing into Lightroom. Regardless of whether you are working with a raw file or JPEG, the important thing here is that all images are processed in the same way. If the stop motion is to be used for Instagram, we recommend exporting to a file size of 1080 x 1080 pixels.

Next comes the sewing. For many years I used Photoshop to create my stop motions because I felt that all apps were affecting the quality of the photo. It’s one thing for me to turn my images into stop motion, which I’m honestly still getting used to, but it’s quite another thing to degrade them and then turn them into a video. We do not have that. So I painstakingly stitched them together in Photoshop for years. It is time consuming and labor intensive. However, you can create stop motions that retain all the detail and quality of the image. I have been doing this tedious process for almost two years. You can see how it works here:

This may be the best method depending on usage and expectations of the piece. However, an app came out (finally!) that I believe maintains the quality of my images and made the stitching process so much easier. This is not a sponsored post and you may have another method that you like better. This is exactly what I found that I like. If you use LifeLapse or any other app, email the images to your phone and download them to your device. I made a video below to show how to upload and stitch the images.

As shown in the video, you can easily change the speed and other parameters of the video and export it. When exporting, use the video/mp4 option, not the gif option if you want the format to be supported by Instagram.

Final Thoughts

I wish we had posted our images in a place where viewers would stop scrolling because the use of the shadows was creative, the composition was thought provoking, and the use of negative space was artistic. I sometimes get the feeling it feels like being a photographer in today’s society trying to serve a vintage Bordeaux to a room full of Budweiser drinkers. You just can’t appreciate the complexity of the craft. But Budweiser is on tap, so let’s make it scroll. In fact, after working to cater to new client requests, I can say that I’ve started warming to the idea of ​​creating stop motions. I strive to keep it at a high level by focusing on stunning imagery and creative concepts, but I’ve accepted that my clients now want movement. I have also integrated animated photos into my offer. If you want to read this article, you can read it here.

On this topic, I would like to know what photographers think about this topic. As for the pressure on photographers to create images that won’t stand still, are you resentful of this reorientation to making everything in motion and eye-catching? Do you like the challenge of creating work in new ways? Have you ever tried to do stop motion? How did you feel about the result? If you’ve never tried it, maybe you can try it as a creative exercise. Tag @OfficialFStoppers and myself so we can see your work! Happy clicking and sewing.

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