Time-Lapse Photography at Night

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Duration:   4  mins

In this video, professional outdoor photographer Jason Hatfield takes you to the mountains of Crested Butte, Colorado, and shows you how to capture a spectacular time-lapse motion image of the night sky featuring the Milky Way. For creating his time-lapse photograph, Jason uses a Sony camera with a built-in application. He keeps the preparation simple and does not use a motorized slider or head, but instead just a tripod and a fast 16–35mm f2.8 lens.

You will learn how to use the app PhotoPills, which simulates the stars tracking through the night sky on your phone. This sky simulation determines the location of the Milky Way and how it will move across the sky for your time-lapse image. After anchoring his tripod, Jason uses the camera-leveler feature to create a straight horizon. For his time-lapse image, he prefers the 16mm setting to create a dramatic expanse.

The next step is the settings. For a night sky image in the high mountains, he sets his aperture at f2.8 and the iso at 3200. He adjusts the time lapse intervals to 15 seconds to reduce the motion of the stars. Depending on your location, you may want to adjust these settings. Crucial to capturing your time-lapse night sky image is your camera’s interval shoot function, where you can select the shooting start time, shooting intervals, number of shots, and the silent-shoot feature. As a caution, you will need to use a rain cover to protect your camera from bad weather.

All that’s left is to press your shutter button and wait for the stars to advance through the sky.

Join pro photographer Jason Hatfield as he shows you the step-by-step method to create gorgeous time-lapse images of the night sky.

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2 Responses to “Time-Lapse Photography at Night”

  1. Jay Donenfeld

    After watching your video, and reading the accompanying text, I went to look for photopil, and I could not find it the way you had it spelled! The application I found was PHOTOPILLS! Is this the same application?? I would like to try this using my Canon T6 rebel!! If I can muddel my way through the settings that you show on your Sony camera and try to make comparable settings on my Canon! I have an 18-55mm f2.8 lens and tripod. But the camera is " shuttered" I think the correct term is !! Does that make a difference?? Thankz, jay .

  2. Michelle Wood

    Very cool, thanks!

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