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Pink performing on-stage at her summer concert at Alton Towers, Staffordshire

News Where does time-lapse photography ‘fit in’?

14 July 2015 Daniel Curtis

With the first use of time-lapse in a feature film now well over 100 years ago, we are still fascinated by it.

Georges Méliès’ motion picture Carrefour De L’Opera, released in 1897, was the first known use of this photography technique in a film.

Since then, it has grown in popularity and its subjects are broadening. A quick search of the Internet will bring up time-lapse videos of cloudscapes, plants growing, fruit rotting, movement of people and animal behaviour, amongst many other things.

The increasing power of cameras (such as DSLRs), intervalometers and editing software has brought time-lapse to the masses. Utilising it commercially is still undervalued, however, despite the plethora of different uses.


Time-lapse camera systems (commissioned from and set-up by professional companies) are now used across the world by contractors to document entire construction projects.

Not only can these images be viewed securely, in real-time, from anywhere in the world, but they can also be edited into an attractive video. This service is often overlooked, but its value is significant.

It gives the company a comprehensive record of the project (from one or more completely unique vantage points) and can be used in marketing, as part of press releases or any other promotional purpose.

It is also a great addition to brighten up office space or reception areas, as the video can be an eye-catcher to their own visiting clients.

PR companies

Sometimes construction and demolitions firms utilise external PR companies to help market their products and services, and often these companies will use time-lapse as part of that process.

Again, it is often for the dramatic visuals that such a fast-paced video produces, but it can also be embedded in wider marketing campaigns and rebrands. Time-lapse videos are becoming more and more popular as the focal point of businesses’ front pages.

And in today’s world of ‘viral videos’, a well edited time-lapse might just capture the imagination of the public and create its own Internet-wide story.

Leisure and events

As previously mentioned, animals and humans make a fascinating subject to time-lapse. One of the most popular scenarios is the erection of a stage for a music concert – and subsequently the crowd filling up the venue.

From the most basic edits to adding effects such as tilt-shift, this is always a great way to show the complexities of putting on a show and videos often rack up huge numbers of views.

For example, the Royal Albert Hall commissioned a special, ‘year-in-the-life’ time-lapse. It now has now been watched over 75,000 times on YouTube.

The possibilities of time-lapse are truly endless. A well-produced video can help enhance any business’ brand and the time-lapse itself becomes completely timeless – whether as a marketing tool or simply a record of work that has been undertaken.

If you would like to talk through how time-lapse might suit your needs, please contact the Time-Lapse Systems team.

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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.