Night Sky Timelapses

Well, it’s been awhile since I wrote a blog post. Between shooting political events, weddings, and working on computer projects, we’ve been really busy! I’ve snuck outside a few times though to shoot some night sky time lapses. Here is some of my recent work. You might have to pause the videos and let them queue before playing them on slower Internet connections. Also, changing the quality to 720p or 1080p looks much better, especially in full screen mode!

Camping, Big Dipper, Milky Way, Meteors, and Moon Rise

I really enjoy shooting night time lapses. This first video is made up of 2,565 photos taken over a 15 hour period during two nights of camping out in the back field. The first night I pointed the camera North to capture the Big Dipper over the tents. I also wanted to make a stacked photo later of star trails swirling over the campsite. The dew was really bad that night though and ruined the moonrise just to the right of the camera. The next night I went to another end of the field and set the camera in front of the Caterpillar D4 directly in line with where my iPhone said the moon was going to rise later in the early morning. Fortunately there was no dew at all that night and I got some great photos of the Milky Way before the moon rise. There is a lot of manual bulb exposure ramping going on in this video, all programmed with a Promote Control.


This video was made of us camping in the yard and having a cookout. It is made up of 225 photos, each 30 seconds long, taken in 5 second intervals at 14mm, f/7.1, and ISO 400. A few frames at the tail end gradually open to f/5.6, f/4, and f/2.8 after the fire died down. It took a long time to render even though it’s only 9 seconds long because I added an echo effect in After Effects to get the star trails in the sky.


Venus Setting

The third video consists of 983 images taken over a 4 hour time period. This was another bulb exposure ramp with the Promote Control from dusk into twilight (technically the beginning of nautical twilight into astronomical twilight) for the first 41 minutes of the shoot (or the first 7 seconds of the video), and the remainder of the time lapse was a typical fixed exposure of 7.5″, ISO 800, f/2.8.

All of the time lapse videos were shot with my favorite lens, Nikon’s 14-24mm f/2.8 at it’s widest focal length. Visit our new YouTube channel for higher quality videos on mobile platforms:


Here are a few of my favorite still photos from the videos:

For this image I stacked 60 photos taken over a 34 minute time period in PhotoShop. My Coleman lantern and our campfire is what lit the trees.


This is one of the images that made up the stack in the previous one. The meteor looks like it is going to strike our tents!


Milky Way


Moonrise and another meteor


Dawn breaking


Camping in the back yard. 225 photos, each 30 seconds long, taken in 5 second intervals, stacked for an overall combined exposure of 112.5 minutes.


Here are some more still images from the timelapse videos:

These images can be purchased through my gallery here:

Related Posts: