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Timelapse of auroras and stars

#1 Lapsefinger
Hi there fellow timelapsers!

The autumn and winter in northern Norway has been absolutely horrible, with rain, rain and more rain. I don't think we've had a single cloudless night during the past six months. The solar activity is at it's peak and the resulting auroras have been spectacular! Mind you, behind the clouds. It makes a grown man weep...

Even so, I have managed to assemble a few clips into a short movie. I hope you like it! Comments are welcome.


The solar activity will still be high the next winter, so I keep my fingers crossed.
#2 gwegner
Very nice, thanks for sharing!
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#3 mjrr

I'm looking for possibilites to also make aurora-timelapses and have some questions: How long were your exposures and which framerate did you choose for the video?

My pictures are mainly ~4sec shutter speed and editing them to a video makes the aurora too fast for my opinion. Is there a possibility to create interpolations between the pictures to fill up the video? Would be great if I could end up with 10-15 original pictures and interpolate the others to get smooth 30 fps in the video. Is there a function which provides this or is there another porgram on the market which is capable of doing this?

#4 Lapsefinger
Hi there!

Normally I use these settings for aurora shots: 8 seconds shutter speed, f4 aperture and ISO 3200. This exposure works fine. The colours are good with very little risk of over-exposure -- but it's clearly far too slow. The auroras jump accross the sky at enormous speed in the finished video, and the auroras are fyzzy and not very detailed. Star trails are usually not a problem, since I'm shooting with a wide angle lens. I encode my videos in 25 fps, which is the PAL video standard.

The obvious solution is to use a faster lens. f2.8 would give you a shutter speed of 4 seconds, f2.0 2 seconds and f1.4 1 second. A faster lens will slow down the movement and give you a sharper image -- and that's what we all want. They're not cheap though, and that's my problem right there...

Try Twixtor if you need to slow your speed down. I have never tried it, so I'm not sure how it workes, but it's some sort of morphing going on... Chech it out here:


#5 mjrr
Wow this software looks amazing!!! Too bad it costs a fortune and requires further programms like Adobe After Effects or Premiere Pro... I found a free alternative (http://slowmovideo.granjow.net/videos.html) but this works only on linux-systems so far. I'll search on to find a solution to my "problem"...

Btw: I can really recommend the Tokina 11-16/2.8 for shooting Aurora! I don't go higher than ISO 400 and in combination with f/2.8 i can stay with 4 sec to get beautiful pictures:
#6 Lapsefinger
Thanks for the tip, but I somehow fint it hard to believe... Regardless of which lens you're using, you're using a ISO setting which is three stops slower than mine, and it still looks good. ( It does look good... Smile) Did you increase the exposure in your editing software or did it look like that from the start?

I'm not a Mac user, but I've been told that Final Cut Pro (Apple) has a morph/frame blending feature that works quite good with auroras. It's based on Twixtor (or similar technology) and you need to tweak and work with it to get good results. It's not too expensive either, but I'm not sure whether they made a PC version or not.

...also check out: