Filmora - AI Video Editor
Edit Faster, Smarter and Easier!
Filmora Video Editor
Effortlessly create video with AI.
  • Various AI editing tools to increase your video creation efficiency.
  • Offer popular templates and royalty-free creative resources.
  • Cross-platform functionality for editing everywhere.

How to Edit A Time Lapse Video on iPhone?

Shanoon Cox
Shanoon Cox
Originally published Apr 07, 22, updated Feb 29, 24
Versatile Video Editor - Wondershare Filmora

An easy and powerful editor

Numerous effects to choose from

Detailed tutorials provided by the official channel

Do you want to edit a time lapse video on an iPhone or want to know how to shoot a time-lapse video? If so, you've come to the right place.

Time-lapses, which show how much something changes over a period of time are some of the coolest videos you can make.

They aren't exactly easy to make and edit at first, but we've put together this guide to take you through the steps. We'll give you a few time lapse video ideas, steps to shoot them, and good practices for managing your footage after you've shot it.

Let’s get started.

What Is A Time Lapse Video?

In its simplest definition, a time lapse video is a cinematography technique where the frequency at which film frames are captured (the frame rate) is much lower than that used to view the sequence.

When played at normal speed, time appears to be moving faster and thus lapsing. For example, an image of a scene may be captured once every second, then played back at 30 frames per second; the result is an apparent 30 times speed increase.

Time-lapse photography can be considered to be the opposite of slow motion.

How to Shoot A Time-Lapse Video?

Subjects to shoot in a time-lapse video

Wondering what can be shot in a time-lapse video? The answer is any subject that moves, grows, decays, or changes. But what's more important than the subject is the motion and change that it goes through.

When shooting a time-lapse video, you are composing not only the shot but also the movement of the subject. If a subject doesn't move or change throughout your film, then it is just a regular video. So try to think of subjects that are constantly moving or changing.

Time-Lapse videos are visually appealing and easy to make. When it comes to subjects that can be chosen to shoot in a time-lapse video, the possibilities are endless. But if you’re stuck for ideas, here are 10 suggestions to get you started:

1. Sunset/Sunrise

These are quite possibly the most common subjects for timelapse videos, but there’s a reason for it! Watching the sun go up and down is always mesmerizing.

2. Clouds

Clouds move very slowly most of the time, making them perfect for time-lapse sequences. You can shoot a single cloud passing overhead, or record a passing storm front as it sweeps across the sky. Depending on the weather conditions and movement of clouds, this can look stunning or simply spectacular!

3. Starry sky

Probably one of the most fascinating time lapse videos is the ones with stars on the move. Time-lapses that capture the Milky Way or starry sky are becoming increasingly popular as camera technology improves. There are even some cameras now that have built-in settings specifically for capturing stars and other celestial bodies.

4. Flowers

Flowers blooming is another fantastic subject for time-lapse photography. The change can be incredibly subtle; however, if you shoot a timelapse over several days or weeks, you will be amazed at just how much they grow and change!

5. Season changing

The most obvious example is trees budding and shedding leaves, but all sorts of plants and animals follow seasonal cycles. You can see flowers blooming, grasses growing, and migrating birds. Even if you don't have a chance to go somewhere exotic for your subject matter, you can find something interesting right outside your own door.

6. Cars or Pedestrians

If you want something a little more exciting then you can choose things like cars passing by or people walking on the street.

7. Cooking dinner

Got a recipe for dinner that has lots of steps? Rather than just snap photos of the process, why not make a time-lapse video instead? It's easy and fun to do, especially if you have kids who can help you out!

8. DIY projects

Are you building something? Whether it's a new table, shelves, or whatever else, set up your camera and take photos as you go along in a time lapse mode and you’ll get a fun time lapse video. It works well to show people how it all came together.

9. Construction work in progress

If you're watching construction work being done on your property or nearby, consider recording its time lapse video. It's hard to imagine the amount of resources it takes to construct an office building or skyscraper before it's finished. Time-lapse videos have helped reveal just how much work goes into something like that.

10. A fun art project

Capturing a time lapse video of an art project can make a mesmerizing video. Whether it’s you or someone else doing the artwork, always capture its time lapse video to show to others what goes into completing an art project. All you need to do is to set your camera up on a tripod aimed at the canvas and capture one or two frames per second to get an excellent time lapse video.

Steps to shoot a time-lapse video

Time-lapse videography is something that most photographers and videographers are familiar with. But, shooting a time-lapse video needs more than setting the camera on a tripod and waiting for it to shoot for several hours.

The amazing thing about time-lapse videos is that they can be shot using your smartphone. There are apps and built-in camera settings to capture time lapse videos with just a click of the button.

If you want to create a time-lapse video that is high quality, you have to use professional cameras, and learn some important steps.

1. Decide on a subject

The movement of clouds, a sunrise or sunset, waves crashing at the beach, cars coming and going in your parking lot, people walking around your office building — all of these subjects can yield great time-lapse sequences.

2. Find a place to set up your camera on tripod

While recording a time-lapse video, it’s important to keep the camera as stable as possible. It ensures a smooth video, making it visually appealing and easy to edit post-shooting. Typically, a tripod is needed for stable recording. If you are not using a tripod, find something steady and level to set it upon.

Important tip: Shoot only with manual settings. You don't want the camera to adjust for you; rather, you should adjust the camera settings so that it takes optimal pictures. Even if you use auto mode, make sure you take control of the camera and push it to its limits to get great shots.

3. Set the camera focus

Use either autofocus or manual focus to make sure the camera is focused on what you want to be the main subject of the video.

4. Set your exposure settings

Depending on how much the light is going to change over time, you may want to use aperture priority or shutter priority so that the camera will automatically adjust for changes in light. Or, if you know exactly how much light will be changing over time, you could set all exposure settings manually.

5. Calculate how many frames and shots are needed

For example, if you are shooting at 10 frames per second and want a total of 30 seconds of video at 24 fps (which is standard), you will need 720 frames/photos (30 seconds x 24 fps = 720 frames).

6. Import and stitch together

Once you’ve captured the images, import them into a video editing software, stitch them together, and perform necessary editing.

How to Edit The Time Lapse on iPhone?

Now that you’ve recorded a time-lapse video, you might watch it and think it’s slower or faster than you want it to be. Fortunately, you can speed up and slow down the time lapse video on iPhone using iMovie.

Let’s see how to slow down time lapse on iPhone iMovie.

1. Speed up The Time Lapse on iPhone

So you've taken a time lapse video on your iPhone and now you're trying to get it to speed up in iMovie but it looks a little jumpy or there is too much footage. Here's how to do it in iMovie for iOS.

  • Launch iMovie on your iPhone and start a new project to speed up the captured time-lapse video.
  • Now, tap the plus sign visible at the start of the Projects screen, then select Movie.
tap the plus button
  • From the next window, find and select the recorded time-lapse video you want to speed up.
tap Movie in the New Project window
  • Tap Create Movie button at the center-bottom of the screen.
tap Create Movie at the bottom
  • Now move the playhead to the start of the timeline and tap to select the video. At this point, you’ll see the timeline highlighted in yellow color.
  • Look at the bottom of the screen and you’ll find the Speed icon. Tap the Speed icon and a sliding bar will appear with tortoise on its left side and hare on the right side.
tap the Speed icon
  • To speed up the time-lapse video, move the slider to the right side and you’ll see the duration of the video reduced, indicating time-lapse video has been sped up.
Move the slider forward to increase speed
  • Now click the Play button to preview and then tap Done.

Once you’ve increased the speed of time-lapse video, you can share it and post it where you want.

2. Slow Down The Time Lapse on iPhone

Just like you can speed up the time-lapse video on an iPhone, iMovie lets you slow down the time-lapse video.

Here’s how you can do it:

  • Launch iMovie on your iPhone and start a new project to speed up the captured time-lapse video.
  • Now, tap the plus sign visible at the start of the Projects screen, then select Movie.
tap the plus button in the Projects screen
  • From the next window, find and select your recorded time-lapse video you want to speed up.
Select Movie in the New Project screen
  • Tap Create Movie button at the center-bottom of the screen.
tap Create Movie
  • Now move the playhead to the start of the timeline and tap to select the video. At this point, you’ll see the timeline highlighted in yellow color.
  • Look at the bottom of the screen and you’ll find the Speed icon. Tap the Speed icon and a sliding bar will appear with tortoise on its left side and hare on the right side.
tap the Speed icon
  • To slow down the time-lapse video, move the slider to the left side and you’ll see the duration of the video increased, indicating time-lapse video has been slowed down.
Move the slider backward to slow down
  • Now click the Play button to preview and then tap Done.

Advanced Software: Edit A Time Lapse Video in Wondershare Filmora

If you have professionally captured RAW images of the time-lapse video, you need to use advanced software to stitch them together. That’s where Wondershare Filmora comes into play.

Wondershare Filmore is a professional video editing software with a wide variety of basic to advanced-level editing tools. It allows for turning RAW videos into fun, engaging, and professional videos.

If you need to refine your time-lapse video, you can use it and benefit from its capabilities. Similarly, you can use it to speed up or slow down your time-lapse video.

Let’s see how you can do both with Filmora.

Speed up your time-lapse video

Why speed up a time-lapse in the first place? There are a couple of reasons you might want to speed up your time-lapse.

When shooting with a fast lens, you might want to dial down the shutter speed to achieve more motion blur, to make the scenes more interesting. However, doing so can also create motion blur on time-lapse footage when sped up.

Another reason you might want to speed up your time-lapse is when you have too many frames. When you shoot at low frame rate (e.g. 15 FPS), not everyone will experience the same viewing quality if they don’t have high frame rate monitors. Speeding up the footage is one way to reduce the number of frames without compromising the quality of your video.

Follow these steps to speed up the time-lapse video using Filmora:

  • Download and install Wondershare Filmora on your computer.
  • Launch Filmora and click the New project button to open the video editor or drag and drop the file directly.
tap the New Project button and open the Video Editor
  • Once imported, drag the file to the timeline.
drag the media file to the timeline
  • Click the Speed icon and select the Fast option. Select 2x, 4x, 8x, etc, depending on how much you want to speed up.
tap the Speed button
  • Save the file and use it the way you want.

Slow down your time-lapse video

As the speed at which your time-lapse moves increases, so does the amount of motion blur. This can make for an undesirable look, especially in shots where there is already a lot of movement.

The best way to avoid this is to slow down your time-lapse as much as possible while still maintaining an interesting level of movement within your shot.

You can slow down your time-lapse video in Filmora following the same process as you’d do for speeding-up the video (Explained above). However, there’s only one catch; instead of opting for the Fast option choose Slow when you’re at step 4.


Hopefully, this guide has provided a good knowledge of how to put together your own time lapse video – and how to edit it on iPhone and Wondershare Filmora. It's easier than you may think, and the resulting videos are quite impressive.

Take your time with it, record your movies from different angles, and don't be afraid to create something unique and experimental.

Try It Free Try It Free

You May Also Like

Complete Guide to Make an Intro Video

An intro video describing you and your content is the first and the foremost thing which a viewer sees. Thinking of how to make an interesting intro video, this blog is surely a supportive guide for you. Learn more here.

Posted byLiza Brown|2024-03-27 11:15:45
12 Best GIF Editors to Use

If you are into GIFs and want to know a great extent of information about it then we have got you covered in this article. Here is what we have learned so far about it.

Posted byLiza Brown|2024-02-29 16:03:51
Top 22 Free Video Editing Software

The necessity of the creation of video content for social media has urged many editing software to come out on the market. We have reviewed some, free of them in this article for you.

Posted byLiza Brown|2024-03-22 17:45:50
Top 18 Video Editors for PC and Mac

Searching for the best video editor to make your video more attractive? This article introduce you everything about choosing a video editing software.

Posted byLiza Brown|2024-02-29 16:03:47
Best 31 Video Trimmers for Computer, Phone and Online

This article introduce you the best video trimmers to use on different devices, check them out and choose your favoriate one.

Posted byLiza Brown|2024-02-29 16:03:12
How to Make A Funny Vlog for TikTok?

Want to make a funny vlog on TikTok? Trying to find the right topic for it? This article presents some impressive options for making a funny vlog for TikTok.

Posted byMax Wales|2024-04-01 14:27:07
Ideas to Make A Perfect Café Vlog

Are you looking to vlog across your next stop at the café? Get aware of the significant elements that make up the café vlog.

Posted byMax Wales|2024-04-01 14:27:06