GoPro Nightlapse - GoPro's Best Feature in 2022

Gear Reviews
Tips & Advice
Travel Photography

Pierce Codina

Oct 18, 2022

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My GoPro is quickly becoming the camera that I use the most. It's small, shoots high resolution video, and it's a lot more flexible than people give it credit for. Obviously its not the choice for every shot but the GoPro Hero 9+ has a unique ability to shoot one of my favorite shots, the Nightlapse. So, let's take a look at how to capture epic Gopro nightlapses!



A night lapse is a time-lapse that is taken at night. Essentially, your camera will take a series of photos and then stitch those together inside the camera to create a video. In the case of nightlapses, it's done the same way but with long exposure photos instead. The long exposure will allow us to see the individual stars in the sky, the Milky Way Galaxy, and the Moon as it circles in its orbit. The night sky is something that we can't often appreciate with the naked eye. We can't typically see the Milky Way with our eyes alone, so we use long exposures to capture as much light as we can. Fortunately, GoPro has made it really easy to shoot a nightlapse on their cameras!



First, we need to set up our shot and there's a few things we should keep in mind as we do that. Before we press record, we want to make sure the sky is visible in our shot. This may seem silly but thats going to be the only moving action in our scene, show it needs to be shown properly. With a small tripod like a Joby GorillaPod, we can place our camera on the ground and point it up at the sky. GoPro Nightlapse Tutorial Another composition tip is make sure there is a subject to your shot. For me, that often is my campsite when I'm out traveling, but it could be any number of things. Having a focal point to your composition will help direct the viewers attention but it will also give a sense of perspective.

Camera Settings

The GoPro Hero cameras actually have a built in, nightlapse mode! However, the stock settings on that mode are not all that great, so here's how we set ours up. Shutter: Auto - we let the camera handle this part. This allows the exposure to change throughout the timelapse without messing with the intervals. This way we can start our capture when the sun is still up and smoothly transition to our nighttime scene. Interval: 2 min - This is how we set the length of our final video. The lower the interval, the more photos will be taken, thus making your timelapse longer. If you raise the interval, the camera will take fewer photos and your timelapse will be shorter. I strive to get my overall timelapse length to about 30 seconds. This allows me to view the entire night sky without having to speed things up. Resolution: 4K 4:3 - This is the highest resolution that the GoPro will record in a timelaspe. Using the full 4:3 ratio of the sensor gives us two main benefits. The first is the ability to reframe in post, by moving the image up or down. It also allows us to crop easily to a 9:16 format for social media posting. Outside of these settings, the standard nightlapse settings will work. I did bump my bitrate up to high as well as set my timer for 3s. This isn't entirely necessary on a timelapse, but it allows the camera to stop moving before the first photo is taken. This makes every single frame as sharp as it could be. I also put the color profile on flat, so I have a bit more flexibility in post.


Thats really all there is to it. GoPro has done a fantastic job with these newer Hero models. They are rugged and powerful cameras that can really accomplish a lot in the right hands. If you'd like to see more about the GoPro in general, let us know down in the comments down below, and we will make some more videos centered around these cameras. Until next time stay safe, stay healthy and remember Gearfocus is always here to feed your passion.

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