Posted on Leave a comment

How to Make a Timelapse With The Unleashed

Niagara Falls Sunset

One of the Unleashed’s greatest features is timelapse. In this article we want to introduce the concept of timelapses and how to create a timelapse with the Unleashed. Let us try to define the word timelapse in a few sentences:

“A timelapse is a sequence of photos taken over time. The photos are mostly taken at a certain frequency with a set interval time in between each photo. In the final result, the photo sequence is shown at a normal video frame rate (24-30 fps: frames per second), so time seems to move faster than usual, thus the word time lapse.”


Of course, you can also film something and then speed up the scene in post to have a similar effect. However, when creating a timelapse by taking interval shots, you have the freedom to choose the final frames per second rate. Additionally, you have every frame as a high quality photo so you can even create 8k time-lapse videos. And probably one of the biggest advantages – you don’t have to shoot an actual multi-hour long video with your camera.

To shoot a timelapse you can either take a photo every couple of seconds by hand (which we don’t recommend ;) ) or use an intervalometer. An intervalometer is basically a programmable camera trigger that takes the photos for you. There are different solutions out there serving this purpose, starting at under 100 EUR up to a couple of hundred Euros/Dollars. In the end, it depends on what you want to achieve.

With the intervalometer you can set the interval (after how many seconds the next photo should be taken) and how long you want to be shooting. As an example:

You want to take a timelapse of clouds passing by a mountain top. So you set up your camera with the intervalometer on a tripod and take a photo every 10 seconds for the next 3 hours. At the end you will have around 1080 photos. Combined in a video with a frame rate of 30 frames per seconds, you will have a video clip length of 36 seconds (1080/30 = 36). As you can see, there’s a little bit of math involved if you have a certain idea of how long the clip should be at the end.

Creating time lapses with the Unleashed

We think timelapses are fantastic things to capture and can add great value to your b-roll and videos. So we’re especially proud of the well-designed timelapse feature in the Unleashed. Apart from automatically showing you the expected clip length and amount of photos you will take (especially useful to see if your SD card still has enough space), the Unleashed app also gives you the option to do auto-ramped timelapses to capture day-to-night or night-to-day transitions where the camera settings change over time. This means you don’t have to manually adjust the exposure to match the changing light conditions. Check out our support video on the Holy Grail timelapse feature.

If you want to start with a simple timelapse, you can also check our FAQ and video on that feature. Nevertheless, we’d like to give a brief overview here, as well.

How-to

  1. When you open the app it is set to Photo mode. Click the 3 yellow lines in the bottom left corner to get to the menu and select Timelapse.
  2. The top area of the screen shows a summary of the camera’s current settings. You can change those settings by tapping on that area to see the detailed camera settings.
  3. In the center area you can set the interval i.e. in what frequency a photo should be taken, and the duration i.e. for how long the camera should take photos.
  4. Below that, the app calculates how many photos will be taken and what the expected clip length will be at 30 frames per second.
  5. In the top right corner of the screen, the app shows tips, warnings and errors. While you’ll be able to start a timelapse with tips and warnings, errors will grey out the start button. For example, the app will warn you when your SD card doesn’t have enough space for all the photos to be taken during the timelapse.
  6. To start, just tap the button at the bottom center. Once it’s started, the smartphone does not need to remain connected or in range for the Unleashed to finish the timelapse.

Once all photos are captured, you can either directly import them into a video editing software to create the video, give them a quick brush in lightroom, or get the most out of the timelapse by using a software like LRTimelapse to smooth the pictures transitions perfectly.

Feel free to share this blog post or comment below if you’ve found it helpful. Stay tuned as we’re going to give you more professional insights on timelapses with the help of one of our brand ambassadors and expert timelapse photographer.

Posted on Leave a comment

Geotagging – What it is and how it can help you

Photos let you capture the most beautiful moments in life. Geotagging is a feature that can make reliving those moments even easier. Geotagging was also the basis of our company. It was the first feature that the Unleashed supported before it developed into more of a camera remote. But as our community grows we want to take new users along on the journey and share some insights on geotagging. What is geotagging? Why should you geotag photos? Read on to learn more about how geotagging can help you in your personal or professional photography.

What is geotagging?

While you might know geotagging from your smartphone, GPS is not a common feature in DSLRs yet. Geotagging means embedding the location data of where it was taken into the metadata of the photo. This means that apart from camera settings like aperture, exposure and focal length, longitude, latitude and altitude coordinates are saved as well.

How to geotag photos

If you don’t have a camera with built-in GPS, don’t worry – there are other ways to add location data to your photos. You can geotag your photos using an external GPS device. Just set it to tracking mode and it will record your exact location and time you were there. Later the exact location data can be added to the photo depending on the time it was taken.

Of course we can’t go without mentioning that our Unleashed offers an effortless geotagging solution, as well. The Unleashed geotags photos the moment you press the shutter: direct geotagging. Using the GPS of the phone it is connected to, it embeds the location data to the metadata directly, saving you plenty of time and effort post-shoot. The Unleashed supports Canon and Nikon cameras at the moment, but we are planning to add more camera brands to that list in the future.

For those who prefer an external GPS over a smartphone, we’ve made it possible to use the Unleashed with some GPS receivers. Read up on that in this blog post.

GPS receivers: Holux, QStarz, Transystem
GPS receivers: Holux, QStarz, Transystem

Why geotag your photos?

Adding GPS location data to your photos has a huge range of use cases. For one, it can help you organize your photo catalogue by location, other than only by time. This can be extremely helpful: imagine you are looking for a specific shot of a location, but can’t remember exactly when you were there. Many applications, like Lightroom and Flickr, now have interactive maps that show your geotagged photos on a world map. So you can easily find your vacation pictures without having to dig through countless folders or scroll through timelines. Geotagging is also used for professional purposes. It can be used for logging the location of rare wild animals, archaeological sites, location scouting for shoots and filming, and much more.

Geotagging Map Flickr

One word of caution if you post a lot of nature shots to social media: you might not want to publicly tag the exact location of every photo. This could lead to those places being overrun and natural ecosystems being damaged. Best to keep some places secret, so they can stay as beautiful as they are.

We hope this helped answer any questions you had concerning geotagging. So grab your camera and try geotagging on your next outings and see how it can help simplify your life. If you found this article helpful, feel free to share it on social media!

Posted on Leave a comment

How to Take a Long Exposure With The Unleashed

Upon popular demand, we introduced the Long Exposure feature last summer. The Unleashed offers many technical possibilities, so it was a logical step to implement this. Thus the Unleashed replaces another essential part of a classic intervalometer – in addition to interval photography, it also enables bulb photography without touching the camera. In addition, the Unleashed also offers the possibility to define the length of the photo as desired – just press the shutter once and the rest happens automatically. More on this below. This replaced the Unleashed’s flash compensation feature, which we noticed most users weren’t using much, and made room for the Long Exposure feature. Here’s an overview of how to take stellar long exposures with your Unleashed!

Definition of long exposure photography

In case you’re new to the topic, here is a quick definition: a long exposure is any photo taken with a shutter speed much longer than usual, about 1 second and longer. This allows you to photograph very dark subjects like night skies and capture intentional motion blur in photos. The long exposure time smooths out the movement of water, clouds, cars, etc. creating very smooth, flowing effects.


Using the Unleashed App for long exposures

The first thing you need to know about long exposures are the three ways you can create one. For the first one you simply need to set your exposure time to bulb, making sure you are in manual (M) mode, and hold down the shutter button for as long as you want the exposure to be. This works well up until a certain point, but imagine holding it down for minutes, let alone hours.

Here is where the Long Exposure Duration setting comes in: it allows you to select a precise time in 1/3rd stop increments for up to 4.6 hours. Or choose time mode where you press once to open and once more to close the shutter. In both modes the Unleashed will keep the trigger pressed, so you no longer have to hold it manually. Of course you can also cancel at an earlier time. As usual, the Unleashed keeps shooting even when you close the app, or go out of range with your phone – no need to stay connected or keep the app on!


The long exposure feature is perfect for night photography, star trails, light painting and working with ND filters. For more inspiration and in-depth information on long exposures, check out our blog article about it here.

We hope this helps you better understand and use the Long Exposure function of your Unleashed. Make sure to tag us if you use it – we look forward to your shots!

Posted on 1 Comment

5 Ideas to Use Your Camera Creatively at Home

As photographers, being stuck at home can feel very limiting – but it shouldn’t mean that you can’t take any photos at all! If you usually shoot events or are limited in your options for nature photography, try something new at home. Use the equipment you have and put it to use for a different purpose than usual. Try food or product photography, pet portraits or document a new hobby you might be learning at the moment. In this article we’d like to give you some inspiration to keep busy and creative with your camera while staying home!

1. Combine learning a new hobby with photography

It seems like everyone is starting a new hobby recently to make all the time spent at home more fulfilling. Since many of us no longer commute to an office, there are a few hours more per week to devote to learning a new skill: be it a new form of exercise, a manual skill like sewing, woodwork or gardening, (re-)learning an instrument or arts. If you feel like you have nothing to photograph since you can’t go places, try documenting your learning journey. This will not only give you new subjects to shoot, but it’s also satisfying to visualize your progress this way. Here are some examples:

  • Learning to cook or bake creates great opportunities for food photography – going way further than the occasional phone shot at the restaurant! Try recording the entire process of making the dish to the final result.
  • Creating something with your own hands can be so satisfying… and the photo opportunities a new manual skill or a form of art can give you are unlimited! You could even get into product photography if you want to sell some of your creations.
  • Take photos every week to document your improvements in any form of exercise you are practicing. This works especially well for things like flexibility training or learning a certain yoga pose.

2. Learn from constraints

Since most of us are stuck at home, unable to travel to photogenic locations or do photo-shoots with people, it’s easy to feel like you have nothing to take pictures of. Normally you would have a stunning landscape or a model as an inherently interesting subject. Creating visual interest in your own home will definitely be harder, but honing the skill of perception can make your future shoots a lot easier.

For the challenge: choose one room of your home that you will take all pictures in. Take a close look around you to identify possible subjects. Then try to take as many creative pictures of the environment, working with different perspectives, lighting, negative space, and composition. You can also spread this over the day and notice how the natural lighting conditions change the look and atmosphere of your pictures. Limiting yourself like this can really push your creative boundaries since you have to work with what you’ve got and sharpen your eye for interesting compositions.

3. Shoot (self) portraits at home

For many people, more time at home means more family time. Why not use the opportunity to take some family portraits? You can also try practicing new techniques on your family members, partners, pets, room mates, or if you live alone – on yourself. YouTuber Sorelle Amore does a great job on explaining how to take the best “advanced selfies”. Check out her tiny room challenge or this one in a small town for inspiration. Taking portraits of yourself is quite tricky so having remote control over your camera will be extremely helpful. Here are a few ways to add some creative spark to your photos:

  • use props like glasses, phone screens, prisms, glass balls, kitchen utensils like sieves, knives, etc. in front of your lens to create interesting flares and shadows
  • use fabrics you have at home like curtains, sheets, scarves or blankets as backgrounds, in the foreground, draped around you or even as clothes
  • project a picture or pattern over the subject using an overhead projector

4. Time lapses & long exposures at home

Sure, you have less opportunities to travel at the moment. That shouldn’t necessarily keep you from creating stunning time lapses and long exposures, though. You may still be able to capture magnificent sunsets or sunrises from your window or garden. If you live in a highrise or the middle of the city, its neons and passing cars lend themselves perfectly to long exposures. Or change things up a bit and record time lapses indoors: meal prep, food baking in the oven, a satisfying decluttering session, your plants growing, someone making art… the possibilities are endless!

5. The Airbnb Photo shoot

Using the extra time to deep-clean your home seems to be trending at the moment, so why not use the opportunity to do a little photo shoot and get some beautiful shots of your living space? Pretend you want to put your apartment on Airbnb or get featured in an interior design magazine − make your place look immaculate. (Maybe it can also motivate you to tidy up in the future, once it no longer looks like in the pictures ;) ) Get creative with your shots by using wide angle lenses to get sweeping shots of the room and some more detailed shots with a tighter lens. Use a macro lens for details usually overlooked to get some cool abstract shots. If your apartment doesn’t have great natural lighting, this can also be a good challenge to practice your low light photography skills.

We hope some of these ideas inspire you to use your camera creatively at home!