Portugal Astro Time-Lapse
Recently there has been a lot of interest in Vivid Towers about space, the stars and the moon. I always remembered how clearly you could see the stars from where I stayed in Portugal. I thought that whilst I was on my holidays, it would be a good opportunity to learn a new time-lapse skill. Having never done an astro time-lapse before was a bit daunting. The Portuguese weather offered me numerous clear skies to perfect my skills to produce this video.
As I was travelling with my family, I wanted to pack the minimum amount of equipment needed. So the only camera equipment that I took was a 6D. This was packed with a Tamron 11-16mm f/2.8, a Canon 28-105mm f/4L lenses, a camera remote controller and a basic (cheap) light-weight tripod. I started a few nights into my holiday capturing the sky above. My first problem was having to navigate with a camera and tripod up a very steep slope. This turned out tricky climb onto the roof of the villa.
Focus & Exposure
I have a lot of experience in commercial time-lapse projects but this was my first ever astro time-lapse and I was learning as I went. My first major obstacle was trying to get the correct focus for the stars. The method I used was to:
- use live feed
- focus on the largest stars
- take a picture
- check picture
- repeat process until happy.
I would then have to play around with length of exposure and this is where some more time was needed. It was also where I noticed the level of light pollution that was apparent, as my early attempts looked like I was shooting during the day.
The Time-lapse Shoot
As I was capturing mainly one complete video a night, I had to to really think about what would be the best composition, this was slightly hampered by lack of knowledge of the night sky. I had sole access to the roof and this allowed me to leave the camera capturing for most of the night, sometimes ending up with a warm camera, if I did not wake up early enough.
One of the aspects I enjoyed the most about this astro time-lapse, was the anticipation of seeing what I had captured that previous night. This anticipation has been somewhat lost since the change over from SLRs (film based) to DSLRs.
“My God, it is full of stars.” Astro Photography Time-lapse
I really enjoyed my time trying out a different time-lapse style and I am pleased with my output. It is really amazing to see how many stars are actually out there, especially when you zoom into the pictures. Looking over the whole video, I think my favourite shot is the Moon moving and reflecting over the sea. This project has now inspired me to produce a better astrological time-lapse, one that really captures the Milky Way in all it’s glory
If you would like to find out more about Vivid Photo Visual’s time-lapse service please visit our time-lapse page or to read more on the same subject, please check out our time-lapse blog. Alternatively please call 0161 477 2404 to speak to a member of the team.