New Time-Lapse Films of the Night Sky Reveal What the Naked Eye Misses

Recently we featured the amazing long-exposure photographs of Randy Halverson aka Dakotalapse. This week the spotlight falls on what he’s perhaps best known for: his time- lapse videos.

The Milky Way, auroras, ice clouds in the mesosphere, meteors with persistent trails, tumbling satellites, nebulas, distant lightning storms—you can see all these and more in Halverson’s many videos. And, what’s more, you can see all the real-life phenomena of the night sky in ways that verge on fantasy.

He just released this trailer for his newest, Horizons:

Temporal Distortion
His film Temporal Distortion, which captures the night sky in ways the naked eye can’t, drew the most attention, including from National Geographic and The Atlantic. Shot in South Dakota, Wisconsin, Utah and Colorado, the film condenses hours and hours of long-exposure photos into a 23-minute video. The result: bright objects in the night sky shine brighter, the stars trace their arcs, and meteors twist and zip.

The film also boasts an original score by Bear McCreary, the composer behind the music for Battlestar Galactica and The Walking Dead.

Watch the 4-minute trailer:

The Technology
Halverson, who regularly posts on Google+ and Twitter, was recently off to Australia. He took 175 pounds of gear. In other words, to do what Halverson does takes, not just an eye for the shot, but a lot of technical know-how.

When asked about his technique by Yahoo News, he replied:

I use Canon DSLR cameras and take still images, not video. The shutter is open for 20 to 30 seconds on most of the shots. This allows the sensor on the camera to gather more light than the eye can see and makes the stars, Milky Way, and aurora appear brighter than they are to the eye. I also have the camera mounted on a Stage Zero Dolly from Dynamic Perception. This motion-controlled rig moves the camera slightly between each exposure, and gives the camera the motion you see in the time-lapse. I then have to edit the thousands of still images together in a computer, to assemble it into a movie.

Watch a short “Behind the Scenes” video on how he does it:

The Catalog
We’ll be keeping an eye out for what’s next from Halverson, his photos and films, but until we’re back with more, check out the rest of his videos collection:




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