See the Night Sky Come Alive in This Creatively Blended Time-Lapse

The night sky is one of life's true gifts. Capturing its beauty in a single frame with a camera is one thing, but creating something with thousands of images takes some serious skill and not surprisingly, turns out pretty amazing. 

In the video, titled "Drifting Through The Night," Michael Shainblum creates a beautifully blended time-lapse featuring both short and long exposure photos in a way that creates organic-looking motion. Making star trails photos is a popular technique for those into astrophotography. Shainblum manages to animate each star from their starting point in a visually impressive fashion. The progression of the scenes is full of interesting changes that by themselves might downgrade a single frame, but work wonderfully in sequence. This includes cars, hikers, climbers, and satellites. Be sure to look out for them. I enjoyed the music and the way it synced very well with the segments.

Shainblum's photography prowess has been recognized far and wide, so it is exciting to see it brought to life as a video in such a unique and creative way. He describes the result of the effect as looking like shooting stars, and I agree. The whole video deserves a dark room and the volume turned up for proper viewing. Hope you enjoy. Let me know what you thought in the comments.

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8 Comments

Riswandi Koedrat's picture

Wow! That's the best time lapse I've seen ever. Looks like a combination of a fast shutter speed with a slow one blended onto one frame. Would be interesting to watch the tutorial.

Paolo Bugnone's picture

I've seen the technique long time ago in a Youtube video, it looked cool so I wrote a script for Photoshop to generate automatically the frames with the startrail effect from the individual timelapse frame, then AFTER doing that I found out that there is a way to do this in After effect with an automatic function :P

Michael B. Stuart's picture

Isn't that always how it goes, Paolo? Funny story.

Riswandi Koedrat's picture

What I want to know is how he took the shots. Did he shoot alternately between fast and slow shutter speeds? Or shoot with one speed after the other?

Paolo Bugnone's picture

No idea what video it was, but it used the same technique as the one in the article.
There is no special way to shoot it, you shoot like a normal timelapse then combine the individual frames as a video, once you have the video you apply a "video echo" (dunno how it was called exactly) in Premiere/After Effects/ or other video editing software using the "Lighten" blend method.

This was my attempt with the hand made script, it doesn't have the fade out (could have added it if I wanted but I just desired the whole startrail) but it works the same way https://www.dropbox.com/s/bmhxtqtxvj6h729/Test%20Timestack.mp4?dl=0

Riswandi Koedrat's picture

How many frames were there in that time lapse of yours?

Riswandi Koedrat's picture

Do you happen to still have the link to the YoTube video?

Michael B. Stuart's picture

I agree! Glad you liked too.