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A player serves on the Champions Tour at the Royal Albert Hall

News Breaking away from conventional time-lapse videos

18 November 2014 Daniel Curtis

Creative time-lapse videos are a dime a dozen.

Master builder construction a Lego scale-model Fenway Park
Time-lapse doesn’t just have to be about beauty shots.

Shots of landscapes transforming over seasons, flowers opening and urban areas bustling are tried and tested. But there are other time-lapses out there; ones that do not conform to the stereotypical art videos.

Photos taken at set intervals and then sped up to (usually) 25 frames per second for playback tend to make up the basics of time-lapse videos. Of course, exposure, framing and stability are just some of the other factors that come into play.

But this medium of photography is designed to show the lapsing of time – so why stop at fauna, flora and landscapes?

Today we take a look at some of its other uses, starting with the fascinating. Do you remember Rubik’s Cubes? Over 300 million of the 3x3x3 puzzles have been solved since its invention in the late 1970s. Many people have spent many hours trying to solve the intricate cube, whereas discarded cubes have spent many more hours gathering dust. So wouldn’t it be annoying if someone came along and solved a 17x17x17 (yes, that’s 17x17x17) version of the puzzle in seven hours. And instead of playing back all 27,000 seconds at a standard frame rate, they uploaded a time-lapse of them completing it? Well, prepare to be annoyed, because that’s exactly what RedKB has done. Impressive!

Back on Friday we drew the attention our Twitter followers (you can find us on Twitter @timelapsefilms) to the current volcanic eruption near Pahoa village, Hawaii. Kilauea volcano actually started erupting back in 1983, though it has only become a worry for villagers since June of this year when lava started to emerge from the Pu’u O’o vent. That being said, the advancements in technology over the past 30 years mean that impressive footage of pyroclastic flows from the rupture are now being readily captured and shared. One such video shows a field engulfed by the molten rock, which you can view below.

Now from the scary natural world to the downright scary in the next use of time-lapse. Film fans prepare to be left in awe and make-up artists rejoice, for this video reveals the tricky, arduous and long process of creating (or rather making-up) a ‘zombie’. Imagine having to repeat this level of effort for a movie incorporating thousands of extras?

Smaller cameras and tech means more and more people are getting ‘hands-on’ with photography, particularly as it’s now so accessible. Especially popular is the GoPro, with newer models now boasting a simple-to-use time-lapse feature. Pilot Nick Akimoff puts this to good use in his new video.

Shelter Cove to Redding from Nick Akimoff on Vimeo.

And where would event management be nowadays without a little bit of rapid capture? This quite incredible video from Jim Slaughter was filmed over just one afternoon and evening, but takes in an ice hockey game and basketball game – in the same stadium. The American Airlines Center is a purpose built, multi-use arena near downtown Dallas, Texas, in the USA. Staff work hard to remove an ice hockey rink after a Dallas Stars NHL game and replace it with a basketball court (and seating) for a Dallas Mavericks NBA game. You might need to see it to believe it…

NHL Hockey to NBA Basketball Quick Changeover Time Lapse at American Airlines Center – Dallas, Texas from Jim Slaughter on Vimeo.

Everything covered in today’s blog is a great example of how photography can be used in many different ways. After all, we ourselves have done similar work to, for example, the stadium changeover. Videos include “A Year in the Life of the Royal Albert Hall” and the first ever time-lapse at the Horse Guards Parade.

Breaking out from the conformity of tradition is the first step to truly exploiting all that photography has to offer. Amateurs will find it near enough impossible to replicate professional results, but with the ideas they come up with the medium of time-lapse is looking likely to have bright and exciting future. You can view more of our work on our Vimeo channel, which gives a further insight into some of the innovative ways we can help you to both capture and market your project.

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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.