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News Modern uses for 150-year-old technique

27 July 2016 Daniel Curtis

One area of photography that has seen considerable acceleration in terms of its evolution is time-lapse. In our latest blog we look at the rapid growth of this increasingly popular mode of image capture, from its roots in chronophotography right through to the present day.

Time-lapse originated from scientists’ longstanding fascination with natural movement and has evolved significantly since these early days. It has moved towards more comprehensive uses, such as enabling remote site monitoring for construction projects; enhancing professional marketing campaigns; adding to film & television; and more.

These developments extend to the consideration of photography as an art form, with time-lapse now considered an art in and of itself.

The sheer volume of online results that can be retrieved using “time-lapse” as search criteria is testament to the fact that this is a continuing trend not only in professional but hobbyist spheres of photography.

With the latest smartphones providing time-lapse capabilities along with their in-built camera functions, this mode of photography is seemingly becoming a more standardised form of image capture.

Although such enhancements to handheld devices mean that anyone can try their hand at time-lapse without having to pay over the odds for equipment, the quality between such mobile technology and more high-end kit is still markedly different.

More and more professional photographers are choosing to specialise solely in time-lapse, meaning a more dynamic array of approaches and techniques continue to be perfected, raising the bar even higher in terms of the staggering quality of capture that can be achieved.

For instance, some of the more superior time-lapse videos are now much longer in duration, incorporating more adventurous combinations of shot compositions and camera movement.

As in this video by RalphGM and RandyFX, the latest edition in a series of three videos of Los Angeles, the variety of angles and camera movement make for a spectacular narrative.

The intensity of light in this densely populated city, with street lamps, lights from moving vehicles, as well as the different coloured lighting emanating from notable buildings and monuments, creates stunning patterns across this vast cityscape.

Rather than merely showing the most popular and recognisable sights in LA, this video also highlights the areas that may be less notable.

Reflecting on the experience of capturing this incredible footage, Ralph remarks on the difficulties he faced in the 30-month process, including the expense and conditions of the trip – but also his good fortune to be granted access to some places that are usually off limits to the public.

Creating a time-lapse video, or indeed, shooting any kind of photography, is a serious commitment but the results are worth the investment.

Filmed almost entirely in 8K, the clarity of the images in this video by Will and Jim Pattiz, are truly stunning, capturing the glacial peaks and lakes of Grand Teton National Park in all their wondrous detail.

Incorporating both real-time and time-lapse footage in order to document the beautiful landscapes in northwest Wyoming, creating an impressive juxtaposition between the speeds of the different footage.

The team behind this project spent nearly an entire month collecting footage of the Jackson Hole Valley and the foothills of the Teton Mountain Range.

This video was created in association with ‘More than Just Parks,’ born out of the Pattiz brothers and their love for the National Parks and engaging multimedia.

The website housing these captivating videos is continually growing with the brothers aiming to create stunning visual narratives featuring all 59 national parks.

Such is the level of detail and quality in these videos, the site licenses their footage of these national parks so that they can be used for marketing purposes as well as viewed by wider publics.

Just from these two videos it is clear to see how time-lapse techniques are being perfected and utilised more and more, not only in terms of their aesthetic benefits but more widely for their uses in marketing strategies.

Watch this space for more news about the latest developments in time-lapse, and make sure to check out our website for full details on how your business can benefit from our own various visual services.

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Time-Lapse Systems are a part of Hideaway Media Ltd (est. 2007). World leader in the provision of bespoke time-lapse capture and site monitoring solutions. UK and Worldwide.