How To Create a GoPro Sunset Time Lapse (Bay of Fundy)

GoPro Editing Software, GoPro Projects, GoPro Studio, GoPro Timelapse, GoPro Tutorials

In this post, you’ll learn how to create a GoPro sunset time lapse video. Last year, I published the settings for a GoPro time lapse video shot in the Galapagos Islands.

gopro sunset time lapse

How To Create a GoPro Sunset Time Lapse

To create a sunset time lapse video, you’ll need four things:

  1. A steady tripod. I favor the Gorillapod SLR. It is stable enough for a heavy DSLR – so it doesn’t budge with a GoPro.
  2. A GoPro camera Any version will work. This video was shot with the Hero4 Black.
  3. Charged batteries. You should bring an extra one or two. This was shot with Wasabi batteries.
  4. A great location. It’s hard to beat the Bay of Fundy (Nova Scotia) for a sunset. Morden is a family favorite. We shot this footage while having a fire on the beach. You can see the occasional puff of smoke drift across the video (from left to right).

GoPro Sunset Time Lapse Settings

I shot one 12MP image every 0.5 second. While this should have produced 120 images/minute, the camera produced 90 images/minute. I’m not sure why, but the result is still good.

This was shot from 7:50PM to 9:07PM – a total of 77 minutes. Here are all the settings I used:

  • Time lapse interval: 0.5 seconds
  • Resolution: 12MP (4000 x 3000 pixels)
  • Shooting time: 77 minutes
  • Total image count: 6794 (14.6 GB)
  • Location: Morden, Nova Scotia (Bay of Fundy)
  • Shoot date: August 1, 2015

How I Rendered the Sunset Time Lapse

To create the video, I used GoPro Studio. Their free software is very easy to use. Because I started with a battery at half capacity, I had to change the battery during the shoot – and it caused the angle/orientation to be off. You will notice this in the video and I talk more about it below.

In the video below, the first 12 seconds are played back at 3X faster (180 frames/sec) than the rest of the video. I then replay the video at standard (60 frames/sec) speed. This frame rate is overkill. See the end of the post for what I learned from this shoot.

GoPro Sunset Time Lapse (Morden, N.S.)

Here’s the finished product:

Watch on YouTube

Shooting the Sunset Time Lapse

While I had the camera mounted on the Camalapse, I didn’t use it to create this video. The images I shot with the mount had too many people in them to be useful. The Camalapse is picture below on top of the Gorillapod.

gopro sunset timelapse

sunset time lapse

What I Learned From This Shoot

I learned four lessons from this shoot:

  1. From a previous time lapse, I learned that I need to shoot at a higher frame rate (it was at one image every 5 seconds). I went too far the other way on this shoot and shot one image every 0.5 seconds – or ten times as many images. This was too many for a sunset time lapse. I plan on shooting the next sunset time lapse at a rate of one image every 1 or 2 seconds.
  2. time lapse photobomb

    A Strongman Photobomber

    I setup in a traffic area. Because of this, I had to crop the bottom half of the video because of the amount of close up people walking by. (And I think there was a little intentional photobombing.) My next sunset time lapse will be setup in a not-so-visible area and with less up-close activity.

  3. I’m going to start each shoot with a fresh battery. As you might notice in the video, the camera angle changes slightly. This is because I had to change the battery and I accidentally adjusted the angle. While I was able to fix it (mostly) it is still a distracting element. Because they last longer than the standard GoPro batteries, I use Wasabi brand. They also cost much less.
  4. I wish I had let the sky go completely dark before stopping the time lapse. I think the dramatic change from bright sun to darkness would have been more dramatic.

Watch for the sweeping sun along the cliffs at 0:16.

Your Turn

What do you think of this time lapse? Any suggestions or comments?

Have you created your own? Please share links below!

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Hi, I'm the Author!

Bryan Haines

Bryan Haines is a travel blogger, photographer and content marketer. He is co-founder of ClickLikeThis (GoPro tutorial blog) and Storyteller Media (content marketing for Canadian travel brands). Bryan is also blogs on WiseGuides.ca, a Nova Scotia travel blog that he runs with his wife, Dena.

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