Compressing Time

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I am sure you have seen those amazing videos of clouds scudding across the skies, of shipping arriving and departing port in no time at all and of buildings being built in as short a time as 5 minutes. And you will no doubt realise that these are created from a series of individual photographs taken at intervals over the duration of the project or activity.

These videos are created using a technique called time lapse photography.

One of the purposes of time lapse photography is to entertain. Let’s face it, we are not going to sit for half a day watching boats moving in and out of a port, but we are more than likely going to watch a three minute video of the whole process speeded up in a way that makes us smile.

However, time lapse photography has a very important role to play in marketing and promoting a whole wide range of business processes and services.

During the past few years, I have been regularly presenting to tradespeople about the benefits of telling the story of how they do their job rather than just showing potential customers the finished article. Although, the finished article is very important, it does not necessarily portray the care, attention and professionalism that goes into its creation. A customer who understands this is more likely to buy.

This story can be told in a number of ways: by a simple explanation; by a series of still photographs; by a time lapse video or by normal video. Each of these have a role to play, but one of the most powerful is time lapse video.

Everyone is time poor, so it is important to get the message across in quick time and, if possible, in an entertaining way. Condensing a two or three hour process into a two minute video, perhaps with accompanying music, achieves both of these objectives in a much more convincing way.

In the example below, a video of the three hours required to pour a concrete floor slab would soon be turned off. However, the one minute video shows clearly how every single person has a role to play and how well they work together as a team. Short duration time lapse videos such as this have many project applications in construction, refurbishment and maintenance activities.

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