Sunday, May 20, 2012

Beach Moonset and Astro Time-Lapse

Every time we go on vacation I always check to see if there is a chance we
might have dark skies, and I mean dark.
Why? Well, if your a fan of time-lapse, stars are the ultimate subject.
For most of us, light pollution surrounds us every night, only a few stars
might be visible to the naked eye. To shoot a good astro time-lapse you need
to find really dark skies. One of the few places near where I live where you might
get some good darkness is the beach, thank you sea turtles.  On our last
staycation I was lucky to get a balcony room up on a high floor and shot this
moonset and astro time-lapse. I shot it with my old Canon 40D, bad pixels and all.
The first shot is of a waxing crescent Moon and Venus.
The fourth and fifth and sixth shots show how clouds and light pollution
can make shooting stars difficult.
In the world of astro time-lapse it's ok but not great, I always take the opportunity
to practice for when I get some really dark skies.

Years ago I shot this frame from a lower balcony, you can see the tail end of
the milky-way.  The pool and resort lights blow out the foreground.

When I got my first DSLR (Canon 20D) one of the first things I shot was this
long exposure looking at the north star. 


  1. Hi. What exposure time did you use for each frame? I've tried to capture the stars out at my friend's farm (absolutely no light pollution at all) but got hundreds of totally black shots -- I was using the GoPro which was useless for this project. I've got the Canon EOS 450D and am thinking of getting an intervalometer (???) for it. Any advice? Thank you, Frances.

  2. 15 or 20 seconds at f4 I think. Shoot in manual. You will need an intervalometer. I set mine to 1 second, but you have to remember that you have to add the exposure time to the mix. In other words my actual interval was 16 or 21 seconds. Use the best widest lens you have, My wife has a great app for her i-phone that will show you where the stars are and where they are headed. Good luck, send me a link when you get the goods.

  3. Thanks. I'm up at the farm on the June long weekend (one of the benefits of having a Queen is we get a holiday for her birthday). I'll work out which intervalometer works with my camera and get cracking. What is your wife's app? I'll send a link soon I hope.

  4. She has a couple apps but the one I like is called Planets 3.1

    Good luck.


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