Time-Lapse Trends: New Year

“Time-Lapse Trends” is a video blog series which draws attention to some of the many exciting trends in time-lapse production. We feature a new trend in each instalment, to demonstrate the scope of the medium and the various ways in which it is applied, ranging from the popular to the more obscure.

So Christmas has come and gone and we’re now celebrating another year over, with a new one just beginning. As with any other annual event, a whole host of New Year celebrations are rendered through different forms of media in a myriad of creative ways.

Many cultures celebrate this event in a similar manner – with fireworks and champagne (and a New Year’s Day hangover?)

As we have covered in a previous blog about another yearly event – Bonfire Night, time-lapse can be a wonderful way in which to preserve these special moments that can be so fleeting. After all, following the countdown to 12.00am on New Year’s Eve, the fireworks erupt and that’s it for another year.

Evan Soloff’s time-lapse (below) plays around with the camera’s shutter speed to create some interesting light displays while a couple’s wedding celebrations take place in the picturesque venue behind him.


Lighting firework fountains and sparklers is a great visual way to mark a special moment and time-lapse enables photographers to preserve and relive them, again and again.

For some more spectacular light work through time-lapse, check out this New Year Torchlight 2011 in Val d’lsère.

Utilising time-lapse in combination with other practical tools can also help to add a little flare to this type of event capture (pun intended).

This New Year’s Eve time-lapse taken in Sydney in 2014, emphasises the scale of the capital city’s celebrations by panning left and right across the harbour. While capturing at regular intervals, a rotating base for the camera widens the scope of the lens, representing the entirety of the event.

Of course, not everyone follows the same routine when celebrating the changing of the calendar.

As shown in this time-lapse video, many people celebrate watching live music events. American rock band The Flaming Lips, put on an annual New Year’s Eve party, which draws in quite the crowd. (We’d recommend turning down your speakers/ headphones before watching!)

As we have covered extensively elsewhere, the versatility of the time-lapse medium offers up many opportunities for both internal and external events. As part of a professional service, remote access to a camera system on site allows for full control over particular settings to ensure that the bright lights, that are par for the course on New Year’s Eve, are captured at optimum quality.

Enjoying celebrations at home are also an option on New Year’s Eve – and as a result, a trend subject for time-lapse capture.


Simon Sepulchre’s (above) ‘New Year’s Eve 2013 Party Time Lapse’ presents a stylish perspective of a home gathering. The post-production, adding colour isolation and snippets of text, creates a personalised memory of the occasion.

As you may have noticed, the footage features a humorous combination of both engagement with the camera and candid goings on.

A new calendar year can also be a time for reflection, thinking about the time that has passed.

‘A Year in Timelapse’ by Ron Risman, shows the passing of the four seasons in a year in just over three minutes. Some years do seem to go by in the blink of an eye but perhaps not that quickly. There’s some really nice techniques used here, including tilt shifts, rapid interval capture and stylish framing.

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