We’ve seen time-lapse images for years—fast moving cloud sequences, a rising or setting sun over a city, a flower blooming, etc.—but it’s how easy and awesome the iPhone’s built-in Time-Lapse feature is that makes it so cool. Basically, your iPhone’s camera takes a series of still images over a period of time determined by how long the shutter button is held down. Then, it gathers those images, speeds them up (compressing the amount of time between them), and stitches them together into a neat little video (usually less than 30 seconds in length). For a good time-lapse, you will need something in your image that’s moving (clouds, the sun, etc.), but once you have that, creating these time-lapses is simple: Open the Camera app, swipe to the right until you see Time-Lapse selected above the shutter button, then tap the shutter button once to start your time-lapse (you’ll see a little clock-like animation start where your shutter button was). Tap it again to stop your time-lapse. Heads up: longer time lapses look the best (we’re talking 20 or 30 minutes of shooting time), and since that’s the case, you’ll definitely need a tripod—not just for keeping your camera still that long, but also so you don’t have to stand there and hold your iPhone for 30 minutes.

So, how many frames will your camera take over time? Your iPhone will do all the math for you in the background and automatically choose the number of frames based on the length of time you shoot. If you take a really long time-lapse (say, 10 hours), it will use very few frames; if you go short (2 minutes), it will use a whole lot more. Again, it does the math, so no matter how long or short you shoot, it always looks right. Once your time-lapse video is done, you can edit it in your Photos app and it will apply all your changes just like it would with a single still image.

Love shooting with your iPhone? The iPhone Photography Conference is back for another exciting year, and I’m thrilled to invite you to join us for two days of inspiration, learning, and community. Trust me, you won’t want to miss this. Get your ticket here.

By the way, if you aren’t able to join us virtually on those dates, no worries! Recorded sessions will be up 5-7 business days after the event. And, attendees can access those conference replays for up to one year after the event date.

This content was excerpted from The iPhone Photography Book by Scott Kelby.