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Our time-lapse footage of the Mary Rose on the BBC News at Ten

News Time-lapse: interactive and truly timeless

19 January 2017 Daniel Curtis

American photographer Aaron Siskind once said, “photography is a way of feeling, of touching, of loving.

“What you have caught on film is captured forever. It remembers little things, long after you have forgotten everything.”

Siskind’s observation is perhaps relevant now more than ever; with camera technology accessible on almost any handheld device, we rarely miss a thing. Although the digital archive contained on our iPhones or in the mysterious and invisible ‘cloud’ lacks the tangibility of the medium that Siskind was used to, photography is still a way to aid our memory.

Time-lapse, too, has become a form of remembering, or looking back at time passed. Even in its manipulation of time’s natural progression, the process can still be used as a visual record of a particular period in time.

Creative applications

It is perhaps for this reason that this technique has made its mark in our visual, image-saturated culture.

As we have shed light on in previous posts, time-lapse is unrestrictive in its application and is now becoming a familiar feature in more creative pursuits. One of the most impressive applications in television, for example, has to be the opening credit sequence to the Netflix hit series, House of Cards.

As well as creatively applied, time-lapse is also used for its attention to detail. World-famous artist, Alan ‘Charming’ Baker, chose to offer his work as the subject for a time-lapse video.

Following his journey from developments in his studio to the public presentation of his work at Sotheby’s S2 Gallery in London in April-May 2016, the completed post-produced video sequences provides a HD record of his achievements, not only highlighting the finished products but shedding light on his creative processes.

An eye for detail

In professional arenas, especially, this kind of video has become an important means of promotion for individuals and organisations alike. Ideal to show progression over a particular period of time, time-lapse offers a visible record of the project in hand.

Whether showing the completed trajectory of a project from start to finish or highlighting the ongoing progress within a larger scheme of activity, this technique has become an important means of selling yourself and your product.

A visual medium, time-lapse can be combined with other video/ film techniques, working to isolate those key details that affirm your personal abilities and your brand.

Whether showing complex construction manoeuvres in close-up or giving more of a panoptic view that captures the scale of a project in its entirety, time-lapse can easily be adapted to suit your needs and your desired audience.

Multimedia, multiplatform

Of course, online visibility has become a marker of success for all businesses in this digital age. The visual appeal of time-lapse lends itself well to web-based platforms as it offers interactive content that can easily be engaged with by multiple users at once.

Not only adaptable in its applications, then, time-lapse can easily be incorporated into any online environment. Time-lapse can be used to enhance already visual content, embedded into online articles and documents that help to reinforce your informative, promotional efforts with immersive content.

Time-lapse also compliments other mediums such as film and TV. Footage of the 500-year-old Mary Rose, for example, featured in a prominent BBC News broadcast about prestigious preservation works to the warship.

Not only unique to one platform, this sort of content thrives on social media for this reason. Time-lapse videos contain details of elaborate workings and highly complex projects, truncating them into easily digestible visual narratives ideal for informing and communicating with global audiences on Twitter and Facebook.

The more shares and likes you receive, the larger your audience becomes. These sites do attract high volumes of traffic from users constantly on the move which can also make it hard to break through the noise. A high quality time-lapse sequence adds flare and style to your work that help you to stand out.

Intermediary functions

Well thought-out campaigns on social media not only elevate your visibility in the online arena but can also lead to endorsements by other key partners, clients, even competitors. Social media can be crucial in terms of maintaining high standing within these networks, notwithstanding making important new connections.

Online platforms like these also form an important intermediary mode working to reduce the distance between businesses and their clients.

Time-lapse is valuable to local authorities and businesses in the public sector for this reason, as a well-edited sequence reports crucial improvements to the public regarding the facilities and services that they work to partly fund. This time-lapse for Lincolnshire County Council and FCC Environment worked well to this effect.

Timeless archives

Current updates can also be accompanied by archived content on sites such as YouTube and Vimeo, doubling as a means of storage and an easily accessible portfolio of your work.

Online content can appear transient in terms of its circulation on social media but time-lapse provides a permanent record that can be re-used, revisited, and referred to at any point. The professional and high quality nature of the image ensures its relevance and makes time-lapse futureproof.

Looking back on past projects can be as equally as effective for your business as focusing on the here and now. Success and growth can easily be tracked in visual form, cataloguing a company’s trajectory from its inception towards its current shape.

As Siskind observed of photography, moments can be captured on camera to be remembered forever. Time-lapse keeps these moments alive, allowing you to re-live them and even re-edit them in entirely different ways to offer a fresh perspective on past achievements.

Integrating time-lapse into your marketing strategy is easy and is a proven, highly effective ‘tool’. If you are looking to use time-lapse in this way, or for site monitoring and event management purposes, please get in touch. We would be happy to discuss your requirements and work with you to develop your ideas and further your brand.

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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.