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Aerial view of pedestrians, featuring motion blur.

News Capturing movement with time-lapse

9 August 2017 Kate

Moving subjects are the bread and butter of time-lapse capture. The myriad of video examples available on the Internet produced by professional and amateur photographers alike experiment with motion in interesting ways.

Time-lapse has proven an effective visual tool to track different forms of travel. A camera can be mounted to a moving vehicle, for example, or to a person’s headgear in order to provide an immersive viewing experience.

HD Time Lapse Of a Drive Around Toronto from Bobby_Yo on Vimeo.

Artificial lighting floods Toronto in this car journey, with headlights, taillights, and streetlights making the accelerated pace of the scene appear as if travelling at light speed. The reflections of light on the bonnet of the car, along with the accompanying upbeat soundtrack, also add to this effect.

As we have explored in a previous blog, time-lapse is becoming more common in commercial advertisements. This example, a promotional video for the Rocca Civalieri, one of the resorts as part of the Italian boutique hotel/ gourmet restaurant chain, ‘Relais et Chateau’.

A combination of time-lapse and flow motion are used in this teaser trailer, aimed at promoting outdoor activities in the surrounding woodland of Monferrato, Piemonte.

A ‘walkthrough’ motion with the camera reveals the lavish interiors and stunning exterior of the resort, which gives more of a feel to the destination than perhaps could be discerned from photographs.

Mass movement is also an interesting subject to capture using time-lapse.

Time Lapse Photography of Grand Central from Steven Bornholtz on Vimeo.

Although short, this time-lapse video of Grand Central station in New York, emphasises the sheer volume of people that pass through this space throughout the day.

Motion blur is another effect that can enhance time-lapse capture. Referring to the ‘streaking’ effect of images – as seen from the crowds of people in the above video – motion blur occurs when there is change to the image as it is being recorded.

This can be caused by the rapid movement of the crowds in this case, or through the use of the manipulation of the camera’s shutter speed.

Experiments with different shutter speeds can also have great results.

Experiments in Slow Motion and Time lapse from Melissa Kane on Vimeo.

These different coloured dyes are captured as they merge with water making an excellent subject for experiments with time-lapse, slow motion, and shutter speed.

Motion is also cleverly reversed providing an interesting perspective on how the dye moves through the water, with slow motion revealing every detail of this fascinating process.

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