The Chronicle of Time Lapse

The history of timelapse dates back. Time-lapse photography is becoming a more popular art form, with everyone from nature documentary filmmakers to businesses seeking a fresh way to advertise and share their products using it. Have you ever wondered what is time-lapse?  Here is the definition of time-lapse,  according to Wikipedia : “Time-lapse photography is a technique in which the frequency at which film frames are captured is much more spread out than the frequency that is used to view the sequence.”.

Amateurs may now try their hand at making their own extremely basic video sequences, thanks to a slew of new applications. Ever wondered about the time-lapse history?

Consequently, just because most video-sharing sites are filled with time-lapse photography examples does not imply a new art form presently having a thrilling new moment in the limelight. Far from it: time-lapse photography has been around for a long time and is used for several reasons, including creating art and documenting events.

For example, a flower blooming or a butterfly emerging from a cocoon may be a pretty old hat. Indeed, most of us have seen it while watching a variety of wildlife programs. However, when this was initially viewed, it assisted us in gaining a more in-depth understanding of a process that had before been somewhat obscure.


The Beginning of Time-Lapse History

You will be shocked to learn how long ago they introduced the timelapse technique. It may be traced back to the time of the 1870s, when a photographer named Eadweard Muybridge caught a galloping horse in different shapes.



The timelapse motion technique blew minds, and a new style of photography was created as a result. Following this, Georges Méliès film Carrefour De L’Opéra, released in 1897, was one of the first to utilize the form in a full film.

Despite this, Frank Percy Smith, a naturalist and documentary filmmaker, is often credited in history as a pioneering method.

Smith utilized time-lapse photography to document the natural occurrences that he was surrounded by. He used the technique for educational reasons to help explain the detail of natural spectacles. Jean Comandon and Pathe Frères, who worked as early as 1909, encouraged people to take pictures of nature and free natural occurrences.

Despite all of these early instances in the history of the usage of lapse-time photography, Dr John Ott may be attributed to the invention of the genre, its present popularity, and its new application in the 1930s. Fascinated by the form and motion, he began to design and construct his time-lapse equipment, which he mostly utilized to capture nature and the plants that grew in his greenhouses.

The Oxford Scientific Film Institute has been at the forefront of time-lapse photography development since Ott's work. The institution would create new equipment and methods, including a camera that can move through small places to record and delete videos or clips, which has expanded the usage of time-lapse photography even further.

Since the days of galloping horses, time-lapse photography has appeared in various documentaries, films, advertisements, and other media. The true beauty of this photographic method is the viewpoint it has enabled us to observe, in addition to the sight of clouds moving by, traffic flowing by, or cityscapes.

Ott's study in the 1930s was groundbreaking, demonstrating how plants evolved and flowered through time. His research also showed how various variables, such as the quantity of water and sunlight  plants get, may influence fruit or flower output. The topics are equally remarkable nowadays.


John Nash Ott

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For example, time-lapse photography has allowed us to observe the environmental harm caused by pollution. What may take years to happen at a pace too slow to be seen with the naked eye is suddenly sped up and revealed in all its glory in motion. 

It may provide some breathtaking visual footage, such as cityscapes with dynamic movement and light from the sun. Everything from people walking down the street to clouds scudding over renowned skylines may be captured by cameras. The effects may be stunning from an artistic and aesthetic perspective. Filming the shifting faces of landscapes is similar: something that is otherwise impossible to comprehend and share in real-time properly.

Revolutionizing the Lapse

Long before the Google and apple era, the Panasonic HVX200 was one of the first cameras to be used back in the day. This high-definition digital video camera revolutionized the way video was captured. One may change this camera’s frame rate in the settings to capture a single frame once every 16 frames to once every 10 minutes (600 seconds).

For brief time-lapses, this technique performed well. The only issue arose when the duration of the time-lapses surpassed the battery's capacity. You may lose the whole sequence if you don't have a power supply for the camera, and it loses power even momentarily.

Longer time-lapses, such as growing plants, may be difficult. Therefore, we utilize digital still cameras for lengthy periods. You obtain or create very high-resolution pictures while also saving the material by shooting a sequence of shots every second.


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