Note: link to video is at the bottom of this article.
Randy Halverson is a farmer with a mission - capturing the beauty of the South Dakota night sky.
Randy's vista of the heavens is something that most of us can only dream of. We may catch tiny glimpses of that vista from time to time, but this is something different. Randy goes to great lengths to share his world with us through captivating videos constructed entirely via time-lapse photography.
In his most recent work, Randy features the Milky Way in a summer sky. His equipment list is impressive. For this video, it includes:
- Canon EOS 60D camera
- Canon T2i camera
- Tokina 11 - 16 mm lens
- Tamron AF 17 - 50 mm lens
- Sigma 20 mm F1.8
And (of course) a dolly to create a stunning sense of motion in the video. Randy uses a Dynamic Perception Stage Zero Dolly. You'll easily see just how much this adds to the dramatic 'feel' of his work. Look for the shots he takes while moving beneath a barbed-wire fence. The effect is incredible.
Randy's technique for capturing these shots:
Shot in RAW format, the Milky Way shots were 30 seconds exposure F2.8 or F1.8 with 2 second interval between shots, for 3-4 hours run time. ISO 1600, the opening shot was ISO 3200.
Ten seconds of the video is about 2 hours 20 minutes in real time.
He describes the lengths he went to while making this stunning video:
During the month of May, I shot Milky Way timelapse in central South Dakota when I had the time, and the weather cooperated.
The biggest challenge was cloudy nights and the wind. There were very few nights, when I could shoot, that were perfectly clear, and often the wind was blowing 25mph +. That made it hard to get the shots I wanted.
I kept most of the shots low to the ground, so the wind wouldn’t catch the setup and cause camera shake, or blow it over. I used a Stage Zero Dolly on the dolly shots and a “Milapse” mount on the panning ones.
This was all shot at night. If you see stars and it looks like daylight, it is actually moon light. 20+ second exposures make it look like daylight.
Simon Wilkinson from thebluemask.com created the soundtrack “Exodus” for the video.
It's the best three minutes you'll have all week.