This is my first attempt using the Canon 5dmk2 and the Canon Timer Remote Controller TC-80N3 for a cosmic time lapse.

I was inspired by Tom Lowe at Timescapes.org and his very powerful and epic time lapse montage called “Mountain Light”. I really wanted to get out and shoot, but my schedule has been crazy and I find myself working and practically living in the city! This is not the place to look for stars on a clear night with all the light pollution.

I setup the camera at my camp in the New Hampshire mountains and used the Celestron 114 GT telescope pan/tilt head for the slow motorized pan. I ripped the telescope off and built a custom mount for the 5dmk2. I own a Mumford step motor but I am going to use that for dolly time lapses in the future. Gravity will be my resistance and my track will be PVC pipe.

I used AA batteries to power the Celestron and I used the Canon Battery Grip to power the camera all night.

I used a small LED lantern to light up the tree truck in the shot. The lantern was placed about thirty feet back from the setup and I could barely see the trees with the naked eye! The moon was not out tonight and it was pitch black in the forest. There was not a sole or street light for miles.

When watching this video, notice how the fog rolls in as the clouds block out the stars. The trunk of the tree softens and gets washed out, then becomes crystal clear as the fog and sky clears out. Really cool effect.

The temperature was 30 degrees F and I was worried that a frost would form on the lens. It did around 4am and remained in the center of the glass until daybreak. i will try to use hand warmers on the lens next time I work below freezing on these type of experiments.

I used a Canon 16-35mm f2.8 L series lens. I love this lens. I had it set to 16mm and open all the way at f2.8. I set the camera to take a shot every 45 seconds with a 30 second exposure. The ISO was set at 1600. The total time for the time lapse was 1am to 7am, so six hours. The resulting clip is just 15 seconds!

Enjoy! It was cold outside!!! This was just an experiment to get the setting right. I will be working on many more of these. I have a bunch of ideas and a few I do not think have ever been tried. This art requires a ton of patience and time. I shot all night for 6 hours and only came back with 15 seconds of video. I have a lot of respect for the people who go out and do this often.

Post questions below.

TRT: 17 seconds
Size: 6.8 MB
Type: Quicktime mpeg4 720p HDTV