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Learn How to Make Milky Way Time-Lapses in About 20 Minutes

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It's no secret that Gizmodo loves Milky Way time-lapses. They're an awe-inspiring fixture on the internet we can't help but highlight. But astrophotographer (jealous of that job title) Ian Norman wants to transform us from just casual observers into active creators.

Published on his lovely website, Lonely Speck, Norman describes step-by-step what any aspiring astrophotographer must do to create the internet gold that us space geeks love. Norman lists several resources including websites that hunt down locations with little to no light pollution, mobile star guides to help locate the Milky Way, and specific camera settings to make sure you capture everything perfectly.

Norman also spends nearly half the video hand-holding you through post-production in Lightroom and After Effects, showing how to stitch hundreds (or maybe even thousands) of images together into one fluid video. This isn't a tutorial for the slightly curious. You will, at the very least, need to make a serious equipment investment if you want professional results, but you can stem some cost by just going the fixed camera route instead of the motion time-lapse described by Norman. Either way, the end results seem satisfying, and it's also a great excuse to get out in the wilderness, even if you're not the hiking type (like me.) If you happen to be in the more amateur category and all this required equipment has you spooked, take a look at Norman's detailed guide on how to snap your first pic of the galaxy.


And in case you needed more convincing, here's a great, trippy example of a Milky Way time-lapse over Everest posted on Vimeo just yesterday. Pretty cool, right? [Lonely Speck via PetaPixel]


second video via Alex Rivest/Vimeo