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Time-lapse video is more than just regular video sped up. It’s a process that creates movement by capturing frames in time and then connecting all that footage into one seamless piece. It’s hypnotic and illustrative and a great tool.

Why Use Time-Lapse?

Because it looks cool! When you take a process that’s inherently slow and speed it up, the progress is suddenly obvious. That condo across the street from work? Looks like nothing has changed in months. But if you saw an accelerated version of the build, you could appreciate the effort.

As illustrated by the condo example, time-lapse shows growth and scope. When we see something daily, or only occasionally, it’s hard to measure development. Time-lapse fills in the gaps without taking up a lot of time. When you see a dirt lot transformed into fairgrounds, or a plant grow from a seed, you can admire the evolution.

Manipulating time shows us what we can’t otherwise perceive. It’s a means of taking a step back and seeing the big picture. If you’re lucky enough to witness the northern lights, you’ll be in awe of their beauty. But if you see a time-lapse of the same phenomenon, you can marvel at the shapes formed over hours of movement.

When you’re trying to show volume, time-lapse is a great device. Rush hour on a busy road, mall crowds at Christmas and anything on an assembly line—all are good examples of how time-lapse can depict vast numbers.

What Looks Good

Lightning shine in time-lapse
Storms shine in time-lapse

Nature is a natural fit for this technique. Things tend to move slowly in the great outdoors. Capturing a sunrise or sunset is a nice way to show the passage of time. Storms go from ho-hum to impressive electrical light shows. Seasons can change in seconds. The beauty of nature is amplified when it’s accelerated.

Cities, or anything with a lot of activity, play well when sped up. Something about watching a shifting landscape this way makes it come to life. You start to see patterns and forms in the whole that’s made up of so many moving parts.

Time-lapse traffic shows volume
Time-lapse traffic brings a city to life

Construction is another example of video that benefits from a little speed. Anything that’s being built, from a skyscraper to a spider web, takes on a new dimension when the process is condensed. It’s also easier to understand how the project took shape when you watch a time-lapse version.

We Can Do That!

At Key West Video, we’ve used time-lapse for a number of clients (see video above).  If you have a project that could benefit from this video style, call us today and let’s talk about it!

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