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Demolition works at 125 Deansgate, one of our time-lapse construction projects in Manchester.

News Time-lapse photography and demolition

9 October 2019 Kate

Like time-lapse construction edits, demolition is also a process that is methodically complex and that benefits variously from incremental capture.

As invaluable to a contractor who is erecting large scale builds such as skyscrapers or sporting stadia, regular interval photography is just as advantageous for demolition companies wishing to demonstrate their methods.

The results of rigorous work done by wrecking balls, cranes and bulldozers, or hydraulic excavators to undermine and dismantle structures of any kind are revealed through time-lapse in a comprehensive manner.

Due to the way the technique condenses time, results of demolition works taking place over longer periods of time become readily apparent.

The role of time-lapse photography in demolition jobs

Due to the fact that pre-construction work can be different from project to project, the role of time-lapse photography in demolition jobs is wide ranging. We list a few examples below.

Marketing strategy

Time-lapse has arguably become a natural way for demolition companies and contractors to promote the work that they do.

As hugely popular forms of media on social networking sites, time-lapse videos draw – and subsequently tie – our attention to particular projects through the compelling visual movements of accelerated footage.


From this fully post-produced time-lapse video (above) for St Edward (a subsidiary of Berkeley Group), the detailed and methodical process of demolition is opened out phase by phase.

The shift between two camera positions gives the narrative a multi-dimensional perspective so that by the end of the sequence, it is clear how each incremental phase of activity contributed to the successful completion of the project.

The ease with which such demolition narratives can be shared online – by embedding them on a company website or sharing them directly to Twitter or Facebook – has created a more organic way of publicly showcasing skills and completed projects to other likeminded people in the business. Social media might also open up a company’s name and brand to wider networks of business and to members of the public who might not otherwise have known about them.

Portfolio of projects

Reinvigorating your marketing strategies using time-lapse video will certainly help attract potential customers. When used as a consistent feature on multiple projects, time-lapse edits can also act as a visual portfolio  for future clients.

Individual HD renderings of your work in different contexts, using different equipment & materials, and putting different methods into effect over various time periods, will speak to your full range of abilities easier and much more efficiently than other media.

It can be a challenge to give customers an in-depth impression of the standard of your past jobs using only still images and written case studies – although these are still important promotional materials. Time-lapse video can function as a complimentary element to these other media in your marketing arsenal.

Professional time-lapse companies are able to work to a brief, creating edits for special company presentations, conference events and other internal & external public showcases. Adding logos, text screens and other personalised material can assist companies looking to target certain clientele.

Time-lapse videos are also an efficient way of harnessing online tools already at your disposal, such as a company website; embedding videos on a specific page or domain is a simple, yet valuable, way of building an online portfolio of different projects that can easily be referred to in correspondence with your potential customers.

Comprehensive record

Time-lapse helps to open out a project so that it can be viewed in its entirety. Camera systems installed by a professional provider utilise heightened perspectives on neighbouring buildings, or other free-standing solutions, to overlook an entire working site.

This overall perspective is especially advantageous to demolition companies, as it enables them to view their work from the outside. When in the middle of a busy project it can be difficult to assess the progress being made, whereas watching time-lapse provides that distance and opportunity to analyse aspects of demolition work step by step in close detail.

An additional perk of the best professional time-lapse services is the capability of viewing an archive of live still images of your project through an online portal. Uploading each image at regular intervals captured by the camera system on site throughout the course of the works being done provides tools which companies can use to study their demolition methods, workflow, and the finished results.

Past preservation

Finally, time-lapse immortalises its subjects which, for demolition, is especially valuable given that the process involves deconstructing old existing structures to make way for newer ones.

Of course, not all of these are abandoned, dilapidated buildings but historically important buildings with a legacy in the town in which it is located.

With this in mind, it is even more imperative to use visual means to record and thus preserve iconic structures that no longer stand the test of time. A time-lapse video, then, is a final acknowledgement of something that will no longer be around once the demolition process is complete.

Construction of new structure at the old Enson works in Normacot, Stoke-on-Trent. Four bottle kilns are preserved, visible in the background of the shot.

Above: not all demolition projects involve removing all historical buildings. Works taking place on sites with roots to significant cultural heritage may require some remanence of the past to be retained. For example, our camera system captured the demolition of old factories at the former Enson Works in Normacot, Stoke-on-Trent, while four Grade II listed bottle ovens situated inside the grounds were carefully preserved.


Time-lapse and demolition is a relationship that reaps positive results.

As a modern and dynamic visual tool, the technique is as useful to demolition companies as it is for construction contractors, helping to document, record, archive and showcase this highly complex and interesting sector of work.

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