- They command attention. No matter how hard you work to make a photo dynamic, it isn't going to match the ebb and flow of a video. Time lapse sequences are particularly captivating because they compress time, letting us fly through a day or a scene in a matter of seconds. If you want to grab someone's attention, a good timelapse will get the job done.
- They can “put you there.” If you want to give someone a sense of being in the middle of something, there's nothing like the feeling of letting them see it in motion from eye level. It's like taking them by the hand and leading them through it with you.
- They can help convey your passion. For someone who's never experienced something, for instance, a hot air balloon ride, timelapse photography is a great way to get a taste of it. Even something like the simple beauty of a sunset can be “experienced”, rather than just looked at in a static image.
- It's never been easier. Modern DSLR cameras, camcorders and software have made what was once a time-consuming process only suited to professionals an incredibly simple one.
- It's just plain fun. No more to say about that. It just is.
- It doesn't take a lot of extra equipment. If you don't have a video camera and your DSLR doesn't have a built-in intervalometer (Many of them do.), you can pick up a good dedicated one inexpensively. If you'd like to create really spectacular sequences with straight, curved or pretty much any kind of camera motion, you can add a dolly or rail system. There's not much more required for the shooting phase.
- It doesn't require expensive software. Modern versions of Lightroom and Photoshop include everything you need to process image sequences and create movies from them quickly and easily. With CC versions available for both of those, you don't need to spend a lot. There are also several good, inexpensive software packages available strictly for timelapse. If you're using a video camera, your computer operating system probably came with movie making software that will let you “speed things up”.
- It's a booming market. Because of the reasons I've already mentioned above, the market for high-quality, dynamic timelapse sequences is wide open and growing. Advertisers, realtors, tourism and travel agencies, cruise lines and a host of other buyers are ready and waiting to pay photographers and videographers for great videos. There are stock video sites that make it easy for you to get yours in front of the buyers, too.
Unless you're living under a rock, you've no doubt noticed the recent upswing in the number of timelapse videos popping up on the Internet. They're everywhere: in sidebar ads, active graphics on photographer's and videographer's sites, travel sites, realtor's sites and pretty much anywhere you look. There are good reasons for that. Those same reasons apply to why, if you own a good DSLR or video camera, you should take a crack at shooting them.
For all these reasons and more, I can't imagine why you wouldn't want to at least give time-lapse photography a try. It's easy, creative, fun, and can even be lucrative. Isn't that what photography is all about?