Time-lapse photography on construction projects

Considering the function and benefit of a professional time-lapse & site monitoring service when documenting work in one of the largest sectors of industry.

Time-lapse for construction

Time-lapse photography is the ideal monitoring and marketing tool for the construction industry. Images are taken at a frequency much lower than the eventual frame rate, giving the impression that building and infrastructure projects are occurring at a much quicker rate than in real life.

Site monitoring is an additional benefit of time-lapse in that it allows for remote ‘live’ access to site via an online viewer, facilitating the micro-management of multiple projects from one platform – even when on-the-go.


Rather than using a DIY, off-the-shelf camera for the purposes of capturing activities on a construction site especially – such as a webcam – a more robust solution is needed.

Focused around a professional DSLR camera, time-lapse camera systems are able to operate at full capacity with only remote assistance. With this sophisticated set-up, interval rates and exposure can be monitored across wireless networks, ensuring continuous, uninterrupted capture for whatever duration is required.

Not only referring to ‘the brains’ of this technology, it is also essential that camera systems are robust in that their internal software is protected from external conditions. A sudden change in temperature could be fatal to a number of system elements so it is vital that the camera’s housing is resilient and complex enough to keep everything running.

Security is also an issue when outdoors. Positioning the system to achieve the optimum time-lapse for construction, usually on a surrounding building or structure, requires careful planning and stable fixings to hold it in place at all times. Access to an appropriate position also requires fully trained and dedicated engineers who can respond to the complexities of a project and carry out installations in the most challenging of environments.

Still image from the Riverlight development at Nine Elms as an example of time-lapse for construction
Above: optimum positioning of the camera system for the perfect time-lapse construction image of Riverlight at Nine Elms.


What this equipment can potentially facilitate, then, is better management of a construction site.

With time-lapse for construction, contractors have the ability to oversee work, track progress and pay close attention to detail with the Ultra High Definition images that are made available to clients as part of this professional service. Capturing the smallest of changes in each image – taken at regular intervals – this mode of photography enables a stunning visual record of construction.

Mobile phone, tablet and laptop showing iRis 3.0 viewers
Above: our secure online viewing portal – iRis 3.0 – available to use on any device.

These images are generally provided through an online viewing portal, which can be used to view, download and share as and when is needed. Equipped with a full time and date-stamped archive of images, not only can contractors and other invested parties remain in-the-loop about the project timeline from beginning to end, this functionality is available on-the-go. Many portals allow access to any handheld device as standard, meaning that site management is not inhibited by the absence of a desktop browser.

Alongside the obvious benefit of a time-lapse offering, the ‘other side’ of this photography has several important applications in various sectors of business. Site monitoring allows contractors to stay abreast of the comings and goings on site, share and discuss progress with investors using the images available on any device which, in turn, makes it easier to micro-manage a project.

Together with time-lapse, then, site monitoring is part of a full end-to-end package available to clients through professional providers.

The result

The post-produced element of this service – the time-lapse video – is the culmination of months of capture in an impressive visual sequence.

At the hands of highly skilled editors, utilising high quality editing techniques facilitated by expensive post-production software, the hundreds and thousands of images captured as part of a particular project are then expertly sorted through and arranged into a sequence.


A visually engaging time-lapse construction narrative has numerous benefits for contractors big or small. A time-lapse video can effectively communicate a project from start to finish in a matter of minutes, making this an efficient way of marketing your services. Professional providers are also attentive to the individuality of each of their clients, tailoring videos to any aesthetic and stylistic specifications of each brand.

Time-lapse videos are becoming increasingly popular forms of media to view and share on platforms such as Twitter and Facebook. Time-lapse can also be used with other prominent mediums such as broadcast television, thereby engaging a larger audience with construction work.


Developing both in form and popularity, time-lapse for construction is an effective and efficient tool for managing and marketing the work of contractors.

Share this:
SMAS accreditation logo
Constructionline accreditation logo
CSCS accreditation logo
Achillies accreditation logo
PASMA accreditation logo
IPAF accreditation logo
SSSTS accreditation logo
Asbestos awareness icon
Fire safety icon