Yosemite starlight

Here’s a beautiful time-lapse video of Yosemite:

I think that’s gorgeous, and not a little moving (though the music helps). I highly recommend clicking through to YouTube’s large HD version. Oh man, the shooting stars. This would have been entirely appropriate for Carl Sagan day, were I not a few hours late.

It was made using the camera of my dreams: the Canon EOS 5D Mark II. While this camera can record 1080p HD videos (and very lovely they are too) the above was actually made using a dolly with a stepper motor, allowing it to move-shoot-move.

It’s harder than it looks, too. That level of astronomical detail generally requires a long exposure time, but too much and the stars will be blurred: they move faster than you might think1. A couple of the shots cleverly centre on the celestial north pole, which lessens this effect – stars closer to the pole will move more slowly, and you can actually see some blurring of stars at the far edges – but most aren’t. I guess it’s Yosemite, so there’s little problem with light pollution, but you still need a hell of a camera to pull off that kind of detail, at fast-ish shutter speeds, without noise. Sigh.

Via (amazingly) Technorati.

  1. the moon is worse – anything over 1/8s will be blurred []