I love that we live in a video culture, not because I think I’m particularly photogenic but I’ve always thought photos and text captured only part of a reality. A video can really give you an idea of someone’s mannerisms, voice, poise, and process. A video can give you a really good idea of who someone is and what they are about. (That’s part of why we’re doing so many videos this year.)

In a world where everything seems instantaneous, it’s nice to remember that people have put time in to get good at something. The time lapse video phenomenon allows us to enjoy this process without watching paint dry (sometimes in a very literal sense.)

Watching these videos, a few things struck me:

1) It is possible to show improvement over time in a wide variety of disciplines, from drawing to dancing. I kind of wish I had video of myself working six or seven years ago. I bet I type faster, do more complex tasks, and seem much more relaxed. It would be cool to see that!
2) It’s not about looks. It’s contrary to think that we’re watching videos but it’s not about what any of these people look like: it’s about what they’ve accomplished. Even the guy who takes selfies as he walks along, we might notice his beard slowly growing but we more notice the passage of time and how far he’s come. I am not even sure what color his hair is, but I think it’s brown… though I do remember how far he walked and the variety of terrain he encountered.
3) There is the time it took to make the video… and the time it took to get good at the skills in making the video. So it’s one thing to understand that to create a full drag face can take 4 hours to accomplish but understanding shading, contouring, etc. took many many more hours than elapsed in the video. In watching these videos, it’s easy to understand we are only seeing the tip of the iceberg.

So here are a few time lapse videos (not of grass growing or people aging- ie stuff that would happen anyway) of people doing something.

The Girl Who Learned To Dance In One Year

This Guy Who Draws A Ball

This Popsicle Stick Mansion Builder

This Guy Who Walked Really Far

What This Person Does In Photoshop

This 30 Story Building Built in 15 Days (even if construction isn’t meant to last more than 30 years, as some commenters have implied, still impressive)

This Makeup Job

This Man Who Overcame A Lot To Not Only Walk But Do A Lot More

I don’t know about you but seeing what’s possible makes me not only aware I need to put my time in but happy to do it.