Amazing Sky Videos

This 4-minute music video, in 4K, incorporates time-lapses and real-time videos of the Northern Lights.

I shot all the sequences on one magical night, September 8, 2018, from Tibbitt Lake, at the end of the Ingraham Trail near Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, in northern Canada.

The music is the composition “Eternal Hope” by the composer Steven Gutheinz, from the 2014 album Inspiring Minimalism. It is used by kind permission of West One Music. See stevengutheinz.com/music.htm

Yellowknife, at a geographic latitude of 62° North, sits under the usual location of the main auroral oval and is treated to fine displays on almost every clear night. However, on this night the global Kp Index was only 2 or 3 at best. Locations farther south would have seen little. But local Kp values can surge higher and we were treated to several sub-storm outbursts. This is why Yellowknife is one of the finest places in the world to see the Northern Lights.

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My eBook on Nightscape and Time-Lapse photography: amazingsky.com/nightscapesbook.html
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TECHNICAL:
I shot the four time-lapse sequences, the scenes with the curved horizon, with the Nikon D750 and Rokinon 12mm full-frame fish-eye lens. Exposures for each frame were 2.5 to 15 seconds at f/2.8 and ISO 6400. Intervals were 1 second. Final assembly was with the software program TLDF using its average frame-blending option to smooth the rapid motion. Additional frame blending was applied in video editing using Final Cut X.

I shot the the real-time video clips with a Sony a7III camera and Venus Optics 15mm lens at f/2, using the 4K movie mode at 24 frames per second for full-frame 4K, and using a dragged shutter speed of 1/4 to 1/8 second at ISO 12800 to 25600.

In the final video, most of the real-time video clips are accelerated by 200% to 300% in speed, to provide a better sampling of the motion and to fit more clips into the cues provided by the music. However, the final clip is at real-time speed and with the actual ambient sound, including me!

Even so, the motion shown is very much representative of what you see with the naked eye during an active display, with rapidly rippling curtains. Only real-time video truly captures the amazing motion of the auroral curtains.

The colours were visible to the eye, especially the pink fringes from nitrogen molecules, a colour visible only during bright and energetic displays. However, the camera’s longer exposures do record the colours with more intensity than your eye can see.

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Amazing Sky Videos

Alan Dyer Plus

A collection of videos of astronomical time-lapse movies and still images by Alan Dyer. Check out my ebook on "How to Photograph & Process Nightscapes and Time-Lapses" at amazingsky.com/nightscapesbook.html. Please drop by my blog at amazingsky.net…


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A collection of videos of astronomical time-lapse movies and still images by Alan Dyer. Check out my ebook on "How to Photograph & Process Nightscapes and Time-Lapses" at amazingsky.com/nightscapesbook.html. Please drop by my blog at amazingsky.net for more images and stories. My main searchable galleries of still images are at amazingsky.photoshelter.com. Thanks for looking!

Shout Box

  • Alan Dyer

    My latest video includes time-lapses and real-time videos of the Northern Lights from Yellowknife, NWT.

    by Alan Dyer

  • Alan Dyer

    I've posted a new video featuring time-lapses from Banff, Alberta, from July 2018 and from older shoots.

    by Alan Dyer

  • Alan Dyer

    My latest video is not time-lapse but sped up real-time video, in 4K, of the Space Station passing across the sky.

    by Alan Dyer

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