How Time-Lapse Can Be Used To Showcase Travel Destinations

The tourism and travel industry have long known the power of a destination time-lapse video.

Time-lapse photography is a perfect medium for travel. The beauty, uniqueness, and diversity of a country, city or landscape can be translated through imagery in just a few minutes of video. This marketing tool quickly captures the essence of a destination. In a few minutes of escapism, a viewer can be fully absorbed in an environment and hopefully be tempted to explore the destination in person.  

‘Destination’ is a varied genre of time-lapse video, as a photographer or filmmaker’s style and approach, as well as the location characteristics, define the final cut. Some videos tour a range of countries and environments, whilst others focus on one single location or city. Here we explore just a few styles that inspire travel and wanderlust.

Landscape Time-Lapse Videos

Imposing dramatic landscapes are captured beautifully through time-lapse photography. Natural, vast scenery can take on an epic, cinematic quality when videographers such as Morten Rustad are in charge of the camera lens. His “South America” video took a year to photograph and takes in nine countries, sweeping through the varied landscapes of mountains, cities, and coastline. Brazil, Venezuela, Guyana, Colombia, Argentina, Chile, Peru, Bolivia, and Ecuador are showcased beautifully. With stirring music, strong imagery, and drone footage, the travel video becomes a completely immersive experience.

Destination landscape time-lapse videos also use the ever-changing skies to great effect. In “Awakening New Zealand” the sky is as much a part of the video as the diverse terrain, ranging from the star-filled night sky to swirling clouds to peaceful sunsets.

Another travel time-lapse video that takes in varying landscapes is that of Australia’s Gold Coast. Skyscrapers gleam in the sun next to the ocean and sandy beaches. The time-lapse seamlessly transfers the viewer to nearby hidden forests and waterfalls and then back to the seaside resorts in a few minutes. This video showcases sun-filled skies and a holiday feel to entice travelers to the region, avoiding any brooding clouds or dismal weather.

City destination time-lapse videos

Destination videos can be shot in various styles but one technique that they all appear to use effectively is drone footage. One city destination video that masters the art of drone use is this dramatic video taken in Hong Kong.

Its aim is to capture the essence of a crazy, hyperactive city. It succeeds, as stunning drone footage takes the viewer between skyscrapers and across the light-filled night-sky.

With time-lapse capture used to speed up the flow of people around the city and clever editing, the video becomes even crazier as at times the city is turned literally upside down.

Most city time-lapse videos are shot at night-time with swirling lights bringing the city to life. Many use the constantly changing light and moving vehicles to add to the energy of the city, such as Max Wilson’s Chicago time-lapse project – Windy City Nights III. With mesmerising streaming traffic and impressive skylines to focus on, sometimes however the small details can be forgotten.

Tilt-shift destination time-lapse

Some videographers are experts at drawing the viewer into the smaller scale of a city or place. In “Simply Singapore”, by the aptly named Little Big World, the city appears in miniature. Throughout the day and night, we see the intricacies of a city and its residents and visitors going about their business.

By combining tilt-shift photography and time-lapse, the video focuses in on every-day scenes. We see tiny people and their cars moving around the city, visiting cafes, playing sports, heading to a funfair. These scenes are enticing and make us want to visit and experience the city.

This miniature imagery can be used beyond action-packed cities to various locations where humans are interacting with an environment. Another tilt-shift time-lapse video “Crazy Capri” by Little Big World’s Joerg Daiber showcases picturesque Capri and its surrounding coastline beautifully. It focusses on the bustling minutiae of the port, sea, and beach. With its pastel-shaded houses, winding roads, and inviting beaches, Capri literally looks picture postcard and somewhere we’d like to be transported to.

Why use time-lapse

All these varying locations and styles draw the viewer in, helping them to escape to another country or continent for just a few minutes. This captures the imagination, and also fuels wanderlust.

Destination time-lapse videos are a great marketing technique for drawing the viewer into another landscape, hopefully tempting them to head to the location to experience all the sights, sounds, and smells in real life.

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