Down at the docks – talking timelapse

Andy Porter Timelapse


The arrival of DSLR cameras has made high quality time lapse more achievable than ever before. It’s something we have plenty of experience of, having filmed and edited time-lapse video sequences over periods of anything from minutes to years. For one brief sunny day last summer our time-lapse team had a bird’s eye view of Liverpool Docks from the top of a 100-metre grain tower.

The results are hypnotic and, in their own way, beautiful. Seeing a grain ship being loaded in seconds, cranes effortlessly lifting and shifting containers on the dockside or a tug boat busily shepherding a giant cargo ship into harbour helps bring commercial activity on a grand scale to life.

Previous subjects of our time-lapse talents include construction sites, automated factories, airports, shopping centres, theatres and motorways. The skill lies in identifying the shots that will work, making the set ups both robust and accessible and applying effective project management and years of experience to getting the best possible footage. The images are then lovingly logged, graded and edited to create sequences that do much more than simply record the action. We can cover long-term projects with multiple cameras, including specific shorter set-ups for key milestones or events.

By combining motion control camera work with time-lapse you can add yet another dimension to the story. Ours is an effective, creative approach that has won the approval of the BBC, Balfour Beatty, Philips and many others who all embrace the idea of playing with time.



About the Author

Andy Porter