We’ve all seen them – in the high school science film illustrating how a flower blooms in just ten seconds, or the fast-rolling clouds found in the dramatic opening sequence of a big-budget Hollywood spectacle. Since the beginning of the video era, and in fact since cinematography itself was born nearly a century earlier, time-lapse shots have been a staple special-effect in movies, TV shows, commercials and just about all other moving image forms

Time lapse photography initially began during the 1930’s when Dr John OTT popularized the idea of capturing  photography using a technique whereby each film frame is captured at a rate much slower than it will be played back. When replayed at normal speed, time appears to be moving faster and thus lapsing.

Film is often projected at 24 frame/s, meaning that 24 images appear on the screen every second. Under normal circumstances a film camera will record images at 24 frame/s. Since the projection speed and the recording speed are the same, the images onscreen appear to move normally. Even if the film camera is set to record at a slower speed, it will still be projected at 24 frame/s. Thus the image on screen will appear to move faster. The change in speed of the onscreen image can be calculated by dividing the projection speed by the camera speed. So a film that is recorded at 12 frames per second will appear to move twice as fast. Shooting at camera speeds between 8 and 22 frames usually falls into the undercranked fast motion category, with images shot at slower speeds more closely falling into the realm of time-lapse, although these distinctions of terminology have not been entirely established in all movie production circles.

I really like the idea of time lapse photography, I would like to incorporate this idea into my Spectacle idea. However, with the time I have, I can’t possibly do a realistic time lapse video of my subject aging like this:

to over come this problem, I’m going to age the photos by hand. I’d image this piece to be extremely short, however it will fit the obstruction. I’d like to think it’s my own hand made time lapse!

I came across this video when I was researching time lapse videos.

Project rebirth, is a non-profit organization using time lapse photography that is currently documenting the day-by-day rebuilding of the former World Trade Center site in New York City. The project is directed by Jim Whitaker, President of Imagine Entertainment, the production company founded by Ron Howard and Brian Grazer.

Ten 35mm time-lapse motion picture cameras, situated in and around the site since the six-month anniversary of 9/11, will continue to shoot one frame of film every five minutes, seven days a week, until this historic reconstruction is completed. This technology will enable the public to view the entire reconstruction within a twenty-minute time span. The final film is intended for a future museum memorial installation.

I think this is an extraordinary demonstration between story telling and healing.