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Digital Sky over the Pig’s Eye

A twenty-five image stack. Taken from a time lapse I shot at the University Avenue overlook, by the state capitol building. Using StarStax to layer clouds like this has become a fun habit over the last year or so…

Digital Sky over the Pig's Eye © Andor

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Evening Sky over the Pig’s Eye

Over the winter, I went on a bit of a sunset time-lapsing spree. I am hoping to continue this trend, but have been kind of lazy about finding nice places to shoot from. The overlook on the north end of Burial Mounds Park, here in Pig’s Eye(the original name of Saint Paul, MN) has been My go to spot thus far. It’s a seriously awesome view of My home town, but I’m left feeling the need to change up the scenery..

Evening Sky over the Pig's Eye © Andor (3)

Well, here’s another sunset from said location, taken in late March. I was shooting a pretty good sequence, but stopped it at an awkward spot, in order to shoot the second sequence. Which turned out to be pretty magical, less the single frame with an airplane in the foreground. =\ Suppose that’s the price You pay for shooting through the landing path of a small airport. Above, is a layered image. Using StarStax to merge every 25th picture from the second time lapse. Below are the first and last shots from the day. If You hit the “HD” button on the media player and watch it on vimeo’s site, it looks slightly better…

Evening Sky over the Pig's Eye © Andor (1) Evening Sky over the Pig's Eye © Andor (2)


My First 6 Months of Time Lapsing

Yep, I made a video! There’s a first time for everything… The first three quarters took Me about 2 hours to patch together, from clips made after each time I shot a sequence. The song took a couple days of semi-inspired attention. The last segment of the video however, took 3 weeks to edit. Mostly because I used StarStax to make 5 versions of the sequences. Then, I had to pluck the right spots from those in small chunks, reverse the numbering order on half of them, make videos of each of those sections, then finally patch them all together and time them to the music. The result? Dancing stars! Watch through the end and see what I am on about..

As with all the vids on this blog, it is hosted for free by Vimeo. So it is of low image quality, watching it on their site does look slightly better than watching it here… So sad, because it looks awesome in 4K! Vimeo also neglected to keep the music synced with the video! :( No wonder I refuse to pay them a penny!


Stacking the Stars

In the past, I would take long exposure shots of the night sky. 30 minutes for a single photo was a normal affair. Last summer however, I started shooting time lapse sequences. Setting up My camera to automatically take a picture at what ever interval is desired, changed things up a lot. I found Myself going camping and letting My camera run, aimed toward the heavens while I slept. At first I was taking the resulting photos and making videos. Which is quite cool, watching the stars fly by at high speed. Not very long ago I found a free program called StarStax and have added another dimention to the time lapses I’ve been shooting. There is a video in the works, but it won’t be ready for a while. So, here are the stacked still images of a few of the night sky time lapses I captured this year.

Starting with this gem, which was a 5 and a half hour long series of 1,000 images. Nearly a quarter of earth’s rotation, viewed in one still shot. For those who are curious, The moon was on the other side of the earth and My Canon 6D with 24mm lens were set up as follows: Manual mode, f/1.4(focused on the stars), ISO 640, white balance 5400K, shutter speed of 13 seconds, taking a picture every 15 seconds. There is no edit involved, except running the images through StarStax. The second shot is the same image set, with “comet mode” selected in StarStax, no other edits…

Tree and Stars at Mille Lacs Kathio State Park © Andor (1) Tree and Stars at Mille Lacs Kathio State Park © Andor (2)

I’m particularly proud of that time lapse! The rest of these were taken with Similar settings, at different locations over the last 6 months. Sadly, the moon was in the sky for all of them but the last one, so there are less stars visible compared to the above shots. Even so, They look pretty cool. If I say so Myself… It’s been cloudy here for weeks, but as soon as I get a chance, there will be more coming.

Night Sky at USA International Raceway, DD50 © Andor (1) Night Sky at USA International Raceway, DD50 © Andor (2)North Polar Axis over the Avery Wildlife Refuge © AndorNight Sky in Central Minnesota © AndorOrion Passing By © Andor


Expanding Abilities (May Load Slowly)

I recently bought an intervalometer for My dslr. The device allows You to take pictures automatically at regular intervals. Since I was hanging out at a friends house the day it arrived, I set things up on His deck and let it rip until the sun went down. I suppose the best thing to do is make a video with these images, but .gif’s display in much higher quality, take up less storage space and require no external websites to host them. As such, this is an animiated .gif of 820 pictures taken seven seconds apart. The down-side is that such a massive .gif loads pretty slowly, so give it a few seconds!

Time Lapse 1 © Andor

The next day, I woke up and set My camera to shoot out of the window in My attic and went to My brother’s for the day. Again, every seven seconds was what I set the intervalometer to do. I got home five or six hours later and it was still snapping away. Due to file limitations, I had to make a video out of this set. Which required Me to create an account on Vimeo and link it back to here. It’s a bit of a hassle just for simple time lapse photography, but My traditional .gif methods just aren’t capable of handling so many images. YouTube and Vimeo both have a thirty frame per second limit and only Vimeo allows high definition video clips. Here is two minutes aimed at the southern sky, featuring My roof, chimney and birch tree, dancing to a classic trance song by God’s Groove, called Prayer 3, circa 1993. Maybe I will discover a .gif automator that can handle the amount of files needed for these longer image strings. We shall see, but for now, I will have to get use to making videos… Shooting at more interesting locations will be the name of the game, something had to be done as a test run though! I am learning as I go.