Time-lapsing sporting events

The summer is in full swing and the sporting calendar is heating up. In this short video blog, we take a look at how time-lapse capture can transform the narrative of sporting events.

The 2016 UEFA European Championship, Wimbledon, Tour de France and of course the Olympic Games are all taking place in the next few months, the majority dominating sporting and television schedules for weeks at a time.

But even matches and games that are completed in much shorter times can benefit from a little time-lapse magic. Varying the interval that images are taken at to match or best suit the individual needs of the event means that a condensed narrative can be produced showing sporting action in a truly bespoke way.

We ourselves worked at one of the summer’s most recognisable sporting events last year, when The Open Championship returned to St Andrews – “the home of golf”. Capturing for a total of three weeks, we produced this short time-lapse video showing the erection of a two-tier grandstand at the Old Course for the very first time.

The Open 2015 grandstand at St Andrews under construction – time-lapse for GL events from Hideaway Media on Vimeo.
Other videos available to watch on Vimeo also show the excitement of sporting events and the hive of activity that stadiums and grounds become ahead of major events.

In this video, Atlanta-based photographer David Kosmos Smith manages to capture a snippet of the Georgia Dome’s working life, with two major American football games played within days of each other.

48 Hours at the Georgia Dome from David Kosmos Smith on Vimeo.

 

Heeventually condensed many hours of time-lapse images into a short 3-minute sequence, using different camera positions and subtle changes in capture intervals to highlight the peaks in energy and action.

The compression of time offered by this technique often means that processes or details in motion become more pronounced. This effect is particularly interesting when used to capture scenes involving teams of players during a sporting event.

Cricket Timelapse from Peter Wallis on Vimeo.

 

In this video by Peter Wallis, a cricket match between Australia and New Zealand at the Gabba, Brisbane, the movements of the players when viewed collectively resemble choreographed dance sequences. Although it is impossible to note the scoring progress of the match at hand, it is fascinating to get a sense of how individual movements from each of the players are at work in tandem, no matter their position on the pitch.

Although probably not the first method of capture considered when documenting a sporting event, and despite usually being used for long-term activity, time-lapse certainly has its part to play in such high-speed environments.

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