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News Time-Lapse Trends: Do It Yourself projects

3 September 2018 Kate

“Time-Lapse Trends” is a video blog series which draws attention to some of the many exciting trends in time-lapse production. We feature a new trend in each instalment, to demonstrate the scope of the medium and the various ways in which it is applied, ranging from the popular to the more obscure.

There is a myriad of DIY videos on the Internet, some of which utilise time-lapse capture as a means of documenting various indoor and outdoor transformations.

In our own line of work as a professional time-lapse provider, we are well accustomed to capturing projects by other professionals and experts in sectors such as construction & demolition, sports & leisure, road & rail.

As we outline in this “Trends” series, however, time-lapse photography is not only a mode for the professionals but for rookies and amateurs alike.

DIY – standing for “Do It Yourself” – is a method of carrying out building, modification or reparation works without the direct assistance from professionals or experts in these areas. Typically, this takes place indoors, in the home, but can also extend to outdoor areas such as the garden.

The phrase itself became part of common usage in the 1950s following an emergence of the trend to undertake domestic improvements as both a cost-saving initiative and a creative, recreational activity.

Certainly today, video – and perhaps more recently, time-lapse – has played a huge part in visually recording such an activity.

Recording progress

Time-lapse enables a project to be shown in its entirety – demonstrating the sheer scope of works stretched out over hours, weeks and months at a time.

Time-lapse mediates progress in an easily digestible and comprehensible way. The build of a tree house which, like this one, tends to take several months, can be revealed in a sequence of just a few minutes in length.

But no part of such progress needs to be eliminated in order to communicate construction work from start to finish in the form of time-lapse construction narratives.

Perhaps the most rewarding part of watching time-lapse videos of construction – or of work in any sector for that matter – is seeing the transformation taking place towards a project’s eventual completion.

Internal creations

Other time-lapses showing DIY progress focus on more creative pursuits rather than merely practical ones.

Ken Burnham uses time-lapse to document several months of his own work giving his grandkids’ bedroom a makeover. The narrative shows the key stages in this process, including painting wall murals, upscaling & building furniture, and last-minute finishing touches.

Watching several months of work in a few minutes perhaps encourages us to pause and comprehend the sheer scale of this kind of task. Seeing the transformation of the bedroom taking place in full detail is a really amazing thing to witness and stands as testament for the hours of labour that went into this makeover.

Our final example is our favourite and truly shows what can be achieved using your own time, skill and effort.


Time-lapse helps to shine a light on the incredible methods of building, sculpting and painting needed to create this (above) prop replica of the Jumanji board game.

Documenting labour in this way reveals the intricacies and level of patience needed for such work. This also proves that “Do It Yourself” does not necessarily mean a compromise on quality.

Indeed, delivering interior developments – including DIY works – are just as deserving of the dynamic visual representation which time-lapse provides.

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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.