Time-lapse photography and time-lapse video is a brilliant way to tell a story. With great stories being so fundamental to good marketing, the benefits of a time-lapse can be massive. Outside of the marketing mix, a time-lapse can also provide great insight into the progress of a project. Read on for our guide on how to make time lapses work for you with suggestions from our Scottish Borders' Video Producer...
Time-lapse photography has been around for longer than you may think. According to most historians, the first instance of a time-lapse was in 1877. The man credited with pioneering the concept is the Englishman Eadweard Muybridge, who was trying to settle an argument about whether all four legs of a horse could ever be off the ground at the same time. Thanks to an intricate series of tripwires linked to the shutters of 24 different cameras, Muybridge was able to prove his point: all four legs did indeed leave the ground!
Muybridge's The Horse in Motion, 1878
Fast-forward to today’s era of mass media, and a time-lapse video is one of the most effective marketing tools you can have. Much like aerial photography, time-lapse videos can tell a great story with minimal production costs, and just as important: it can be consumed by the audience relatively quickly. Understanding the story in a time-lapse requires very little time and concentration, which is a great advantage in today’s crowded marketplace.
A time-lapse video is a great way of capturing information to help organisations make key decisions. It is especially useful when used over a long period of time, such as on a construction site. From just one camera it is possible to track the progress of a project, without your staff or your clients having to visit the site themselves.
Time-lapse photography and video require less manpower than an all-singing all-dancing production. You can capture literally years’ worth of footage and tell a compelling story without the need to go to town on production costs. Most DSLRs these days have interval features built-in, but even if your camera doesn’t, there are lots of useful time-lapse accessories you can buy at a relatively low cost. Top tip: get your settings right
The last thing you want is to discover that something is wrong with your capture at the very end of the process. Just imagine waiting a year to discover that most of your footage is unusable? The aim of the game is to be able to smoothly edit together the footage, and, while the natural light will change each day, you want to avoid any other changes to the picture that may make an image/video stand out from the rest. Disabling auto settings is a good start here. More generally: check, double-check and triple-check that your setup is going to work in the long term!
We like to use a 3-axis motion time-lapse technique that allows us to tilt, slide and pan our device in order to give different perspectives of the scene. By using a time-lapse video app we are able to control this ourselves as and when we need to, without needing to visit the site. Combined with a few of our favourite editing techniques, we can create time lapses that even the guys at Planet Earth would be proud of!
A hyper-lapse is a variation on a time lapse but with a longer distance between each shots in the final edited video. Normally this is achieved by mounting a camera on a tripod and then moving it a few feet to take a different shot. Here is one of our favourite hyper-lapses:
The benefits of time-lapse video for your company
A time-lapse is a cost-effective and simple way of telling a great story with images or video. You can promote your cause to the masses, analyse the progress of a project, and do a whole host of other great things with the minimum of manpower. If you want help creating your time-lapse project, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us.