An Interview with Time-Lapse Master Drew Geraci

Drew Geraci has mastered the art of time-lapse photography and has captured some of the most spectacular places on earth.

He has been taking photos since he was on assignment serving in the U.S. Navy, but now, you can spot Drew’s time-lapse work in the opening title sequence of House of Cards and in client work for Redbull, HBO, the NFL, and so much more. His talents have lead him to starting his own production company, District7, as well as sharing his expertise right here on Skillshare.

We caught up with Drew to ask him a few questions about his career, his craft, and the creative process behind his stunning time-lapse videos.

Why is time-lapse a powerful form of storytelling?

Time-lapse does what a single image can't — it shows the progression of time over a very short or long period of time, in just a few seconds. This allows storytellers to craft messages and meanings that extend past traditional video techniques, which draws the viewer in.

What excites you about time-lapse photography?

Being able to see all of the elements come alive within the shot after they have been shot and processed is really exciting. I'm always amazed at the small things I find that I didn't notice when I was shooting at the time.

What makes the perfect time-lapse?

The perfect time-lapse occurs when you have at least 3 different elements in a composition, all working together to craft a truly dynamic shot. For example, beautiful clouds, a foreground perspective motion move, and traffic lights or people.   

Demonstrating a great way to get started with time-lapse photography, Drew sets up a stationary time-lapse in his Skillshare class.

Demonstrating a great way to get started with time-lapse photography, Drew sets up a stationary time-lapse in his Skillshare class.

What is your advice for young photographers or someone trying to break into your field?

My best piece of advice is to go out and experiment. Don't worry what everyone else is doing, go out and try something new and foreign to you. You might be surprised what you find!

What's your best tip for keeping your skills sharp?

Shoot every day! Even if it's just a single photograph. I make a point to shoot at least 1 or 2 new time-lapse scenes each week, and add it to my portfolio. Sometimes it helps with clients and jobs because I'll already have an idea of what I can shoot if I've already shot it.

Is there an optimal time to shoot a time-lapse?

Shoot right after it rains. The city and landscape take on a whole new appearance and you'll likely end up with something incredible and unique (lots of reflections, amplification of lights, etc).

Where does your inspiration come from?

My inspiration comes from seeing what my peers are doing. I love watching other people’s videos and drawing from their experiences to help my own. It helps you grow and get to know people in the community.

Who are your biggest influences? Who do you admire most?

I try not to idolize or be influenced by just one person, instead I like to see what the community is doing as a whole and drawing from that to get inspired.

Demonstrating a more advanced technique, Drew sets up a motion-controlled time-lapse in his Skillshare class.

Demonstrating a more advanced technique, Drew sets up a motion-controlled time-lapse in his Skillshare class.

What moment in your career are you most proud of? Why?

A lot of people would expect me to say that doing the House of Cards intro was the moment I was most proud of. But really, it was that week after I got out of the Navy when I decided to go out into the city to experiment with HDR time-lapse on my own (that eventually lead to House of Cards). Had I not done that, I wouldn't be where I am today. That's a testament of how important it is to go out and do personal projects.

For more from Drew and about time-lapse photography, check out his Skillshare class Film Stunning Time-lapse Videos with Your DSLR Camera.