Time – the progress of existence and events in the past, present and future, regarded as a whole.
More often than not, however, we only think of time-lapse as being taken over a prolonged period.
The process of taking images at set intervals across multiple days or years helps us to see process our own eyes cannot pick up. A building being constructed, for example, as it is not physically possible to watch – or at least watch and notice rapid change – the work in real time.
But if time is simply looking at events and regarding them as a whole, then we should also consider its opposite – slow motion or “high-speed photography”.
After all, time-lapse photography was developed from the Victorian-era technique called “chronophotography”.
A ‘creepy-crawly’ video is the prime example of the slow motion photography technique and is as revolutionary to the living world as time-lapse has been.
For over a decade Dr Gregory Sutton has been studying how locusts, fleas, crickets and other insects take to the air – by using high-speed cameras.
Describing the process as being similar to drawing an arrow on a bow in a recent interview with the BBC, Dr Sutton explains that a froghopper takes five seconds to “rachet-up” for a jump. And a grasshopper releases the energy in its legs in just 30 thousandths of a second.
If all that detail is a little too much for a Monday morning, then the fascinating video that Dr Sutton and his colleague Prof Malcolm Burrows have produced reveals all.