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Time-Lapse Photography and Site Monitoring. Providing high definition, fully bespoked 2d and 3D Time-Lapse photography solutions, built and operated to meet individual requirements. Find out about our latest long and short-term time-lapse and site monitoring projects.
During the winter months especially, the weather can cause some spectacular photographic compositions.
Particularly during the early hours of the morning, for example, our camera systems capture cityscapes that are draped in fog. While this can effect visibility, the combination of low-hanging cloud formations and early morning light seeping through have added something quite special to some everyday contexts.
Here's a selection of some of our best shots:
[caption id="attachment_4972" width="640"] Above: a foggy morning over one of our Manchester time-lapse construction projects, 125 Deansgate.[/caption]
[caption id="attachment_4973" width="640"] Above: the early-morning glow of New Bailey managing to cut through fog in Manchester.[/caption]
[caption id="attachment_4974" width="640"] Above: the bright lights of London illuminating the Blackwall Reach development through some thick fog.[/caption]
[caption id="attachment_4975" width="640"] Above: stunning morning sun illuminating a sheet of fog resting over Angel Gardens, Manchester.[/caption]
“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.
Cookery programmes have and continue to be a popular subject for television, 'feeding' our obsession for tasty & indulgent foods. But more recently, there has been some shift from the silver screen to the Internet browser.
With more creative programming needed to fight for viewers' attention, time-lapse is becoming a key photography tool for all sorts of screen-based, food-related video work.
One culinary documentary series that is 'causing a stir' is Netflix's Chef's Table (2015- ). With each new episode profiling a world-renowned chef, it only seems appropriate that the series is paving the way for filming food in new and extraordinary ways.
As its opening credits showcase, the cinematography used helps to elevate the meticulous work of the chefs through a combination of stylish camerawork and rapid capture time-lapse. As Will Basanta, one of the men behind the camera for Chef's Table notes, "In a truly transcendent culinary experience, all senses - sight, smell, feel, sound and, of course, taste - are intertwined [...] Because the audience can't taste what's on screen, it was important to place it in the correct environment to feel the food."
As we have covered elsewhere, time-lapse is simplistically yet expertly utilised in Marks & Spencer's famous food campaign, with each televised advert completely revolutionising how their products are seen: "not just as items sold on the shelves, but as edible delights." Similarly in Chef's Table, time-lapse enables the complicated work of world-class culinary experts to unfold on the screen in a matter of minutes with no less attention to the detail of their craft.
Elsewhere in the world of streaming, time-lapse has also made an impression in terms of how cooking is presented on social media platforms.
As you may have already noticed, Facebook and Twitter are now frequently home to the 'how-to' genre of cooking videos. Usually only a minute or two in length, such videos provide a birds-eye point-of-view of a kitchen worktop, documenting the process of cooking anything from creamy pasta one-pots to ice cream cake.
[caption id="attachment_4956" width="300"] Above: a familiar sight on Facebook feeds - BuzzFeed's 'Tasty' channel logo.[/caption]
Owned by American media company BuzzFeed, the Tasty site features hundreds of videos that sees incredible amounts of traffic driven to the site from Facebook alone. Considering what is behind the popularity of these videos, Tiffany Lo, supervising producer at BuzzFeed Motion Pictures, suggests that it could be the universal appeal of food and cooking.
"There are very few essential questions everyone asks themselves everyday. 'What am I going to eat?' is one of them...It's something people constantly have to think about".
There is also something to say about the mediated nature of these tutorials that are perhaps appealing to a younger, smartphone-savvy generation. "With the rise of smartphones, the ability to watch videos while cooking has become accessible", Lo says. "It also visually shows you each step, what the consistency or colour is supposed to look like, the texture, etc. This is something cookbooks lack."
Time-lapse video is ideal for this form of tutorial as it visualised each step in the cooking process in a simple and straightforward manner, making it easy-to-follow and something that can be watched on-the-go or in the kitchen in minutes - without the need for a cookbook.
Aside from the practicality of such videos, there is also something to be said about their visual appeal. There is definitely something satisfying about seeing a recipe come together or food cooking in the oven. This is perhaps why this genre of time-lapse video has become popular on amateur levels, as well as in more professional productions.
The next best thing to eating a pizza, for example, is watching one cook in the oven. This time-lapse video (below) is so simple but captures what is so satisfying about these kinds of videos; watching dough rising and cheese melt is mouthwatering stuff.
pizza time lapse - YouTube
As well as time-lapse video being a popular trend to show food cooking, it is also an effective way to shed light on the preparation of certain cuisine, particularly that which takes extensive preparation.
One such food is sushi. This time-lapse from 'drcane' is the perfect example. Not only does it serve as a tutorial of the incredibly complex methods of preparing different kinds of sushi, the colour and texture of each dish is clearly visible via the close-up rendering of the process. Each individual frame also works well to capture every slice, roll and drizzle that it takes to make each sushi.
As well as encouraging an extreme sense of hunger, then, this instalment of "Time-Lapse Trends" has hopefully inspired ways in which you can apply this technique to document your own cooking endeavours, whether that's a three course meal or just a frozen pizza.
In the world of drones, developments are always ongoing. With technology for UAVs really 'taking off', there is always something new to talk about.
Earlier this month, for example, the opening ceremony of the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea featured 1,218 drones. In a spectacular pre-recorded performance, the aerial vehicles took flight to form the five Olympic rings, which represent the continents of the world competing for glory in this iconic sporting event.
This display also garnered a Guinness World Record for the most drones used in a single performance.
Like the symbolism of the rings themselves, the synchronicity of the drones as they seamlessly form this iconic arrangement help to convey the harmony and passion for competitive sport among each country taking part. From the perspective of aerial photography, this display demonstrates how drones have advanced from providing practical support in various sectors, such as construction, towards fulfilling more creative functionalities.
Indeed, as the record-breaking Olympics performance makes clear, varied application of these vehicles are inspired. Incredibly co-ordinated and aesthetically impressive, such displays provide new means of expression in and of themselves.
[caption id="attachment_4947" width="1070"] Above: a screenshot of a video showing the spectacular Olympic drone display, featured on BBC Sport.[/caption]
As we discussed in our previous update, drones have revolutionised photography in terms of what can be achieved. Practically, drones are much easier and more cost effective to deploy in this line of work than helicopters are. They also enable photographers to push the boundaries in scope and scale, although this can be curtailed somewhat by certain flight regulations.
Despite this, drones continue to show promise. For instance, they have been deemed a potentially environmentally-friendly alternative to road-based deliveries. This is advantageous for companies like Amazon and Google, who strongly advocate the use of UAVs to revolutionise the services they offer. As Joshuah Stolaroff, an environmental scientist at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory has found, drones can deliver certain items faster and with less impact than lorries and would make a notable difference to the total greenhouse gas emissions that the transport sector is currently responsible for.
Of course, there are limits to what items drones are equipped to handle but as a large majority of Amazon's deliveries weigh less than 2.5kg, it seems a fruitful initiative for the online retail giant to pursue.
It is not only the retail industry that are benefiting from drone flight. Earlier this year in Australia, a drone carrying an inflatable rescue pod was deployed to rescue two swimmers who got into difficulty off the coast of Lennox Head in New South Wales.
As the BBC reported, the drone was able to assist the struggling swimmers in a matter of minutes, while lifeguards could have taken three times as long to reach them. Another positive of this scenario was that the entirety of the rescue was recorded by the drone's camera, which can now be used to inform and educate others on how aerial vehicles can be used as an incredibly efficient piece of lifesaving equipment.
Regardless of the pros and cons, drones are certainly at the forefront of innovation in various sectors and it is exciting to await future developments.
“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.
The 23rd Winter Olympics gets underway today in Pyeongchang county, South Korea. Time-lapse video is an exciting way of recording sporting events, whether as part of an international multi-sport competition such as the Olympics or those that take place on a smaller, more casual scale.
Back in 2010, the Winter Olympic Games took place in Vancouver, Canada. As this impressive time-lapse shows, so much rigorous work is required in order to prepare pre-existing venues, or even build new structures, to create the appropriate space to host such a prestigious sporting event.
Just as interesting as watching the different sports themselves is watching the complex pre-construction works that goes into this preparation. The rapid frequency at which frames were captured at here lends itself well to the labour-intensive work that takes place during a short space of time.
Additionally, the opening and closing ceremonies for internationally renowned events are also stunning displays to capture and relive through time-lapse.
Indeed, it is the crowds, atmosphere and collective vibe of any sporting event which has a huge impact on its enjoyment, and even more so on how it will be remembered.
Time-lapse video is an ideal tool which can help to preserve such dynamics. As this video exemplifies, the streets of Vancouver were alive with activity during the 2010 Winter Olympics. Stylish touches such as panning movements, well-placed zooms and rapid capture, all contribute to capturing - and preserving - the incredible energy in the 'Olympic City.'
Winter sports, contrary to what the term implies, take place all year round in many countries.
Even at college level in the US, ice hockey is considered a lucrative investment and attracts a lot of attention and publicity, both locally and nationally.
Time-lapses like this one from the Minnesota Gophers, showcase the scale and popularity of such sporting events. As a form of shareable media, a time-lapse video is a great way of drumming up support for college teams on social media platforms, which can then be viewed by stakeholders, the public, as well as current and potential students.
Documenting the synchronised work at the infamous Madison Square Garden, the video reveals the rapid transformation that sees the venue go from a basketball arena to one that can host ice hockey in less than a minute. Featuring as part of NHL's sports coverage, time-lapse adds variety to the ways in which they are able to visually communicate information to their viewers.
At a less competitive level, winter sports are also an incredibly popular leisure activity.
Skiing, in particular, drives thousands of tourists each year to snowy climbs to enjoy the sun while taking on the slopes. Like in this video by Emma Ninham (below), time-lapse can be put to good use to document skiing holidays with family and friends.
Snowjam Timelapse - YouTube
Not only featuring time on the slopes, footage also shows friends partying and exploring the surrounding areas. In this sense, time-lapse can enable a visual scrapbook of holidays, with the accelerated frequency of images allowing more skiing to be shown in no extra time.
The Winter Olympics takes place between now and the 25th of February, 2018. We hope that these time-lapses have got you in the mood for all the snow, ice and sport.
THE BLACKPOOL Tower, Cowboys Stadium and the Tokyo Skytree.
These are just some of the famous landmarks we have captured using time-lapse, as they were recreated and immortalised as scale-model Lego builds.
Last week, the Lego brick celebrated its 60th anniversary, marking the day the group's patent was approved for the modern - and now iconic - brick design.
Our relationship with the brand now stretches back almost a decade, to 2009, when Merlin Entertainments - who own & operate the Legoland brand - commissioned us to capture the build of two 'Miniland replicas'.
The Midland Hotel and Blackpool Tower scale models are made of only commercially-available Lego bricks and now permanently reside in Merlin's Legoland Discovery Centre Manchester attraction.
Building around the world with Lego
Since the completion of these models, we have captured 15 Lego-related projects across the globe, including for Legoland Discovery Centres in the USA, Japan and other countries.
A lot of these projects have focused on recreating iconic landmarks from major cities in each country, all from Lego. Included are Tokyo's Skytree and Toronto's CN Tower, with the latter model standing at an impressive 16ft tall.
For some of these, such as Abeno Harukas, we utilised very short-term, rapid micro-managed capture at the end of the project, to 'complete' the story of the build:
Lego scale-model Abeno Harukas - model building time-lapse - Vimeo
These time-lapse videos always prove to be incredibly popular on social media platforms. As just one example, the Cowboys Stadium build (pictured above) has been viewed almost 200,000 times on YouTube alone.
[caption id="attachment_4920" width="150"] Tokyo Skytree scale-model LEGO build[/caption]
A world away from traditional construction projects, time-lapsing intricate builds such as these needed very rapid, micro-managed time-lapse capture and very close liaison with the end clients, to ensure the success of each of these projects.
Situated inside LSQLONDON - a flagship office and retail development at 48 Leicester Square - we installed a dual camera system set-up to document construction and fit-out progress on both the ground level and first floor.
The finished time-lapse video incorporates both floors of the development and includes the installation of a one-tonne Big Ben model & a 637,000-brick Underground train with a Lego William Shakespeare on board.
[caption id="attachment_2964" width="1000"] Above: the finished Leicester Square store before the grand opening[/caption]
And in Manchester, we captured the creation of a 250,000-brick, 2,000-minifigure Star Wars-themed Miniland at the discovery centre in the Trafford Centre.
Although only temporary, the impressive attraction took several weeks and over 2,000 man hours to complete, but is now immortalised through our time-lapse video.
We are very proud to have worked on so many projects incorporating the iconic Lego brick and look forward to capturing more builds for the brand in the future.
Considering the function and benefit of a professional time-lapse & site monitoring service when documenting work in one of the largest sectors of industry.
Time-lapse for construction
Time-lapse photography is the ideal monitoring and marketing tool for the construction industry. Images are taken at a frequency much lower than the eventual frame rate, giving the impression that building and infrastructure projects are occurring at a much quicker rate than in real life.
Site monitoring is an additional benefit of time-lapse in that it allows for remote 'live' access to site via an online viewer, facilitating the micro-management of multiple projects from one platform - even when on-the-go.
Rather than using a DIY, off-the-shelf camera for the purposes of capturing activities on a construction site especially - such as a webcam - a more robust solution is needed.
Focused around a professional DSLR camera, time-lapse camera systems are able to operate at full capacity with only remote assistance. With this sophisticated set-up, interval rates and exposure can be monitored across wireless networks, ensuring continuous, uninterrupted capture for whatever duration is required.
Not only referring to 'the brains' of this technology, it is also essential that camera systems are robust in that their internal software is protected from external conditions. A sudden change in temperature could be fatal to a number of system elements so it is vital that the camera's housing is resilient and complex enough to keep everything running.
Security is also an issue when outdoors. Positioning the system to achieve the optimum time-lapse for construction, usually on a surrounding building or structure, requires careful planning and stable fixings to hold it in place at all times. Access to an appropriate position also requires fully trained and dedicated engineers who can respond to the complexities of a project and carry out installations in the most challenging of environments.
[caption id="attachment_3804" width="640"] Above: optimum positioning of the camera system for the perfect time-lapse construction image of Riverlight at Nine Elms.[/caption]
What this equipment can potentially facilitate, then, is better management of a construction site.
With time-lapse for construction, contractors have the ability to oversee work, track progress and pay close attention to detail with the Ultra High Definition images that are made available to clients as part of this professional service. Capturing the smallest of changes in each image - taken at regular intervals - this mode of photography enables a stunning visual record of construction.
[caption id="attachment_3488" width="300"] Above: our secure online viewing portal - iRis 3.0 - available to use on any device.[/caption]
These images are generally provided through an online viewing portal, which can be used to view, download and share as and when is needed. Equipped with a full time and date-stamped archive of images, not only can contractors and other invested parties remain in-the-loop about the project timeline from beginning to end, this functionality is available on-the-go. Many portals allow access to any handheld device as standard, meaning that site management is not inhibited by the absence of a desktop browser.
Alongside the obvious benefit of a time-lapse offering, the 'other side' of this photography has several important applications in various sectors of business. Site monitoring allows contractors to stay abreast of the comings and goings on site, share and discuss progress with investors using the images available on any device which, in turn, makes it easier to micro-manage a project.
Together with time-lapse, then, site monitoring is part of a full end-to-end package available to clients through professional providers.
The post-produced element of this service - the time-lapse video - is the culmination of months of capture in an impressive visual sequence.
At the hands of highly skilled editors, utilising high quality editing techniques facilitated by expensive post-production software, the hundreds and thousands of images captured as part of a particular project are then expertly sorted through and arranged into a sequence.
A visually engaging time-lapse construction narrative has numerous benefits for contractors big or small. A time-lapse video can effectively communicate a project from start to finish in a matter of minutes, making this an efficient way of marketing your services. Professional providers are also attentive to the individuality of each of their clients, tailoring videos to any aesthetic and stylistic specifications of each brand.
Time-lapse videos are becoming increasingly popular forms of media to view and share on platforms such as Twitter and Facebook. Time-lapse can also be used with other prominent mediums such as broadcast television, thereby engaging a larger audience with construction work.
Developing both in form and popularity, time-lapse for construction is an effective and efficient tool for managing and marketing the work of contractors.
Above: a view of a time-lapse construction project in London, framed by the unusual sky of October 16, 2017.
Besides the numerous practical benefits of regular interval capture, there is also the potential for time-lapse photography to isolate more extraordinary, 'magical' moments.
Previously we have reported on some of the 'special photo moments' captured by our own camera systems, including a collection of images featuring the rare and wonderful sight of rainbows appearing over construction sites across the UK.
Looking back at our image archives, we have collated another special series of images featuring another meteorological phenomenon that took place in October 2017.
Since referred to as 'the day the sky turned red', many parts of England reported to have experienced a strange red-yellow hue in the sky. Such an unusual, 'apocalyptic' aesthetic was apparently the remnants of Hurricane Ophelia that had hit Ireland and the west of Britain, which had dragged in tropical air and dust from the Sahara.
The phenomenon garnered much attention from news and social media outlets, with many photographs capturing the rather bizarre sight in various parts of both the West of England and further East, in London.
Here's a selection of such images captured by our very own camera systems.
[caption id="attachment_4875" width="640"] Above: Angel Gardens, Manchester covered in a yellow hue.[/caption]
[caption id="attachment_4877" width="640"] Above: the unusual phenomenon also illuminated the scene at St Mary's Axe in London.[/caption]
[caption id="attachment_4878" width="640"] Above: another of our time-lapse construction projects in London, looking almost 'apocalyptic'.[/caption]
[caption id="attachment_4880" width="640"] Above and below: perhaps the most striking of these images, captured by one of our camera systems for Kier.[/caption]
Above: Vital works at Coast Road Junction on the A19/A1058, captured by our camera system currently in situ.
Infrastructure developments, like those including road improvement works, are an important investment across the UK.
For contractors working in these sectors, often on government-lead projects, time-lapse is an invaluable photographic technique implemented as part of their workflow to track and publicise these endeavours.
Whether capturing improvements to roundabouts, junctions and traffic systems, or other infrastructural work such as bridge constructions, a time-lapse sequence of such developments can provide visual documentation of where money is being invested.
Roundabout redevelopments with Highways England
We have provided time-lapse for government bodies like Highways England, who are working to improve the country's roads and motorways as part of the wider Road Investment Strategy.
We utilised a multiple camera system set-up in order to provide meticulous long-term capture of their redevelopment of the M3 Black Dam roundabout in Basingstoke. Undertaken thanks to £10 million of government funding, the scheme was put in place to remove bottle necks and to improve the flow of traffic.
Highways England often use time-lapse videos to inform the wider public about infrastructural improvements.
Another reason is to allay any misconceptions about the actual progress that is being made. As was reported by local news outlets, Highways England recognise that long-term road works can cause disruptions for the public and use time-lapse as a means of not only representing but validating the work that is being undertaken.
Roundabouts are vital to maintaining effective traffic flow to and from major roads & motorways, which organisations like Highways England work to ensure.
Elsewhere in the South at Eastleigh, we used another multiple camera system set-up to capture their redevelopment of the M27 Junction 5 roundabout.
We are also currently capturing other vital junction and roundabout improvements at the A19/A1058 Coast Road Junction (as pictured above).
Highways England's remit also covers roadworks affected by other infrastructural elements such as bridges and tunnels.
Using remote capture, we time-lapsed the bridge lift, which took well over 12 hours to complete. The grand scale of these replacement works garnered interest on various social media channels as well as getting picked up by industry-specific outlets, such as Construction News.
Other bridge replacements that we have time-lapsed include the installation of the new Northern Road Bridge, which carries the A397 between the M27 and the A3, over the rail line at Cosham, Portsmouth.
Again, remote capture was vital to this particular project, as works often continued overnight during its 12-month duration, in order to minimise the risk and disruption to the public.
As we have written about elsewhere, time-lapse is an ideal tool to isolate and emphasise the complex and detailed work that is often involved with rail works.
Other specialist works
Elsewhere in the South of England, we installed a camera system at the side of the M275 and documented the construction of a new junction, slip road and £28 million new Park and Ride facility at Tipner, again near Portsmouth.
For external infrastructural works such as these, equipment must be safe and secure, so as to capture faultlessly throughout each phase of operations.
Further north in the Midlands, our time-lapse and site monitoring services have been commissioned for other specialist projects, such as the construction of Stoke-on-Trent's new state-of-the-art bus terminal in 2012.
The finished edit shows a complete narrative trajectory, from initial groundworks, construction, and finishing with the Hanley Bus Station functioning at working capacity. In this way, time-lapse photography can act as a valuable, intermediary solution, visualising the work of contractors and communicating progress to the wider public.
Our work on specialist infrastructure projects up and down the country continues, with one camera system in particular capturing a very long-term project on the M4 motorway.
Please get in touch with us to ask about our full range of services and how we could benefit your needs in this line of work and beyond.
Photography captures a moment in time. Iconic structures and notable landmarks are frozen forever as part of a picture, faithfully preserving any detail that may change or disappear over time.
Time-lapse photography - capturing at regular intervals for any required period of time - can do the same in terms of recording change as it happens. Viewing such images collectively manifests any activity, large or small, in a way that can be visualised as part of a moving sequence.
For this reason, the medium is applied widely across many different genres, such as time-lapse construction, demolition, sports and other special events.
What can be revealed is not only the simple transition of a project from start to finish, but time-lapse can also help to capture those extraordinary moments that may be particularly transient - part of a structure that will not appear in the same way again, for example.
Project file #1 - the BFI's Victoria Embankment Gardens cinema
[caption id="attachment_2767" width="640"] Above: iconic moments - capturing the structure of BFI's Embankment Garden Cinema being erected.[/caption]
[caption id="attachment_4851" width="300"] Above: Embankment Garden Cinema before its grand opening.[/caption]
We were chosen by the British Film Institute to time-lapse the construction of a temporary cinema venue in the heart of London - a fully enclosed cinema with tiered seating, Dolby® 7.1 surround sound and 4k digital projection - marking the 60th anniversary of the London Film Festival in 2016.
Securely mounting one of our camera systems to the bandstand in Victoria Embankment Gardens provided us with a view of the entire exterior development. Each phase of the venue's construction, including the interior build, was meticulously captured and rendered in a fully post-produced time-lapse video.
With this being such an eagerly awaited replacement - the Main Stand had been closed since 2008 due to safety concerns - our online viewer, showing live progress at Vicarage Road, was publicly shared on the club's website. The completed video is also among our most popular time-lapse edits.
As well as a visual reminder of the finished results of a redevelopment worth £3.5 million, the popular time-lapse video is also a way of honouring the legacy of the club's home stadium.
As part of other projects, it has been necessary to maintain historic buildings while demolition takes place in the surrounding area.
Given the historic importance of the ship - which was Henry VIII's flagship that was raised from the Solent in 1982 - we are among the very few number of people who have been granted special access to the Mary Rose.
[caption id="attachment_3843" width="300"] Above: a privileged up-close look at one of the Mary Rose's gun ports.[/caption]
In addition, our camera system helped to capture the final works before the removal of the 'hotbox' that has specially contained the atmosphere around the ship for a number of years. Also recording the walls of the hotbox being dismantled, we were present for the first time that an uninterrupted view of the Mary Rose from all three levels and all nine galleries of the museum was revealed.
We were honoured to be part of such a prestigious project, helping to preserve this incredibly important stage in the Mary Rose's legacy through time-lapse photography.