The definition of cool under fire, this is one quality you definitely want your professional photographer to possess when commissioning a time lapse project. Especially if your project is located at a construction site with heavy equipment moving about. Safety first is crucial of course but the dynamic nature of medium and large scale construction sites guarantee that unexpected opportunities arise and as a time lapse specialist who spends a lot of time on site, I’m present to time lapse those unexpected moments, danger notwithstanding.
If you want your organizations’ story told using time lapse as the format, for social media to engage, entertain and inform your followers, please read the following and consider the elements necessary for a successful outcome.
Putting cost aside for the moment…
First off, time lapse photography at its’ core is documentary in nature. Time lapse photography is usually a straight forward process: one or more cameras diligently record a scene, event, process or phenomenon. It can be as straightforward as a single stationary camera set out for several hours, or it be exponentially more complex when cameras are placed in remote locations for weeks, months or years. Recording a variety of ambient sounds for use in the editing process is also a consideration. (Sometimes easier than trying to source it online after principal photography has been completed.)
What should be your guiding principal when planning shots, especially when it comes to motion control time lapse sequences? The four keywords I keep in mind are: education, documentation, preservation and entertainment. Every decision I make rides on the backs of these four words.
I jumped into time lapse photography in ’03 and have been hacking away at it ever since. During this time, I realized I was developing a new specialty: the commercial time lapse narrative. Now I offer a boutique experience to my market in that I shoot time lapse projects with the mindset of a movie director. I offer and provide multiple camera set ups daily, weekly and monthly. In addition to the usual fixed or static camera that records all that happens in front of it I also place what I call rover units throughout a site in order to tell the complete story, whatever it may be…thus the decisions that come with this approach.