Milky Way Stop Motion

Graeme Devine of Santa Cruz, CA recently posted a gorgeous video made from several hours worth of exposures of the Milky Way.  He took the shots from his front porch.  His work really shows off what you can do with a DSLR hooked to a computer.

Most DSLRs come with software that lets you take timed exposures at specific intervals.  To nail the aim, focus & exposure, set your camera on a tripod, connect it to your computer and take single frames until you get the look you’re going for.  Manual mode with 15 second images at ISO1600, f/5.6 and a fairly wide angle (24-35mm) is a good place to start.  Tweak your settings until you get everything how you want it.  Depending on your viewing location’s darkness, your image settings may vary drastically.  After everything’s set, shoot images every 30 seconds for as several hours.  Noting when the Milky Way transits your field of view is important – as is dodging the moon.

An A/C power adapter for your camera will make sure you don’t run out of juice.  If nothing else, make sure your battery is fully charged before you start.  Long exposure photography

Remember that most video is rendered at about 30 frames per second.  At one shot every 30 seconds, it’ll take 7 1/2 hours to put together a short 30 second video.  Once you have all your shots, you can render them to video using your favorite video editing software.

Check out his video here:

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