Welcome to this post about kind of timelapses. The topic of today is focused to what we can do a timelapse. This classification is based on my experience and observations of videos on the web. I don’t pretend to be exhaustive, but I think this classification encloses the most of them.
Nature is always moving in some way, plants grown, clouds pass trough, day becomes night and so on. Is well known that we can’t control nature, we have to adapt to it, preview what is going to happen and act according to it. In this case we register the cloud movement, sunrise, sunsets etc. The takes on the final versión must be short or our viewers will be boring, it’s like the vacations videos, the only person who enjoy it are the one who takes it.
We still capturing movement and nothing is more attractive to accelerate its movement than the process to build something from pieces to a finished product. My native environment as a photographer is industry, thats why I don’t miss the opportunity to register a process in the client facilities
The main benefit of a timelapse is to compress the time of something that takes minutes, hours or more to finish. It not only serves to compress the time, also we can analyse time and movement. I had a experience were my client while reviewing the material realize moments with no movement because they had to translate some pieces from another facility. With that video they took the decision to change the location of the pieces.
The events generally happen once and they have a beginning, development and and end, in other words a history that we can tell in a short time.
To register effectively an event is to know ahead of time, what is going to happen and try to preview which shots we need to make in a way we can plan where we are going to put the camera and in which moment change its position. We have to be there early, before the public begins to mount the cameras and be able to record how the people came to the place.
In some cases we can install static cameras and in that way we can register several point of view without having a cameramen in every place.
One day I went to a kermesse in a church in the neibghood were I grew up. The were the usual in this kind of events: mechanical attractions, mexican lottery, food, live music and so much people. Remember what I lived on those kermesses, I went back to my car and bring my tripod to register that event, but in a timelapse technique. I walked all over the place registering a few minutes what I considered relevant. The result is a document were my friends all over the world will know how we enjoy this kind of events in my city.
The history of a political end of campaign event is relevant mostly to the followers of that candidate. Thats why this kind of events must be brief, tells the most relevant activities, and be entertaining. To achieve this, I came early. The crew was finishing to install and testing the light and audio equipment. The public area was empty and the sun was hard.
When the crowd arrives I couldn’t be able to move. That’s why I took with me several cameras: the first one was mounted on a light pole far enough to cover all the place and be able to register how the people arrives.
The second camera was behind the stage on my tallest tripod. It register not only what happens on the stage, but the people faces in front of the stage.
The camera number three and four were in the front by the courtesy of the audio console operator that allow me to stay on that privileged place. From there I was able to register the entire stage with one camera and the detail on the other.
The cameras begin to record since I mount them. In that way I was only worry for the two cameras that were with me.
As I said before, the detail only be interest to the candidate and his followers. The timelapse is for the open audience that’s why it has to be as short as possible, in this case about a minute.
Define the word “Art” or “Artistic” it’s one of the most challenges ever, because it’s a totally subjective matter, and depends on everybody history and the way we perceive the world.
I define an artistic timelapse when its only purpose is to stand out the movement in a stylised way, where may not pretend to tell a story or compress the time. It’s an author vision of a specific topic, all framed in movement acceleration with a music bed behind it.
I made this timelapse by transforming a bad situation to a good one. As you know, in a timelapse we have to arrive before the action begins and go away after its finished. On that day I was informed that the bridge concrete joist were to be mounted on a bridge. The cranes were at the place, the people ready and it’s just a matter of time that they came from outside of the city.
The time pass and the joist are not coming. While waiting I observed the shadows of the people passing though the pedestrian bridge. I didn’t have anything else to do while waiting for the joist, then I begin to record those shadows looking for stylisation of the human presence but whiteout seeing the persons.
At the end of that afternoon I was informed that because a technical problem the joist will come the next day. I returned to my office pleased to be able to use the death time to do an artistic video like that. A few hours editing and musicalising and I could have the video that turns a bad situation on a positive one.
Luis Roberto De León has been dedicated to industrial and commercial photography for more than 30 years, staying at the forefront with digital technologies.
Phone: +52 (81) 8340 9090