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The Smiler rollercoaster being constructed at Alton Towers

News How time-lapse transcends industries

28 April 2015 Daniel Curtis

Even in the early days of photography time-lapse had its place.

Born from chronophotography – the brainchild of early camera pioneers – it grew from being limited to scientists to becoming the plaything of hobbyists, amateurs and professionals.

Now that all natural flora and fauna subjects seem to finally be exhausted, time-lapse is finding its place in the working world. From construction to events, demolition to road building, it is quickly become the quintessential tool of construction site managers and communications managers.

Historically it would be difficult to find a link between knocking down a building in Glasgow and capturing an orchestra playing at the Royal Albert Hall. But now time-lapse has its place across these varied sectors.


Because projects tend to last at least 12 months (and many for double or even triple that length of time), time-lapse is popular. It shows off the intricate developments that are simply impossible to pick up with the naked eye in real-time.

Certain phases of the process – such as inserting footings, erecting steel and installing glass – are particularly eye-catching. This short edit for The West Brom includes prime examples of the steel stage:



Much the same as construction, demolition can be used to document slow processes that come with dismantling a building or structure. Far from cartoon-style dynamite-initiated demolitions, these projects can take a significant amount of time.

But a time-lapse camera system is also good for archiving purposes, preserving iconic buildings as they reach the end of their usable life. This edit produced for Molson Coors adds movement into the sequence, enhancing the demolition narrative:


Leisure and entertainment

In today’s competitive world a great marketing package is often needed to expand and enhance businesses. Particularly with people looking to save money where possible, competition between destinations for days out is increasing, as people no longer like to do things on a whim.

A strong video edit can put you right in front of potential visitors. Just look at how visually pleasing this time-lapse video of The Smiler being constructed is:



Using a reliable time-lapse company means you can be creative in taking advantage of the remote camera system. Capture times can be changed in an instant, meaning everything needed is kept and time is not wasted photographing unwanted events.

And it can then be used to showcase all the best things a venue hosts across a whole year:

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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.