Timelapse of the Milky Way just outside of Madison, Wisconsin.
All of the stars aligned this week (no pun intended), the combination of a new camera, new moon, and somewhat clear skies allowed me to finally timelapse the Milky Way! I’m blown away with the capabilities of the Canon 5d Mark iii. Only being 10 miles from downtown madison and a mile outside of Madison city limits, I highly doubted that I would ever be able to timelapse the Milky way in my backyard. The key to capturing this beast was to crank up the ISO, exposure time, and keep the aperture as wide open as possible (ISO 2500, exposure 20 sec, f/2.8). When first setting up I had the ISO in the 5000+ range but quickly realized how bad the light pollution was. At those ISO levels the sky was nearly white because it detected the light coming from the city. This created problems as I was battling to pick up more light from the stars but trying to minimize the amount of light picked up from the city. After nearly an hour of testing this is about the best I could get the settings dialed into.
One disappointment I had was actually during post processing. I process all of my RAW photos in Lightroom and when using high ISO most pictures are plagued with noise (grainy look). This is easily correctable and I’ve corrected hundreds of photos with bad noise. However for whatever reason Lightroom kept exporting the photos without the noise diffusion applied. I ran through the process 3 or so times before I just had to give up because it takes so long to process 800ish photos.
Thoughts and What’s Next?
As you can probably tell from above I’m so happy with the result and after tons of failed attempts is so awesome to finally capture it! I’ve been doing more research on warp stabilization in adobe after effects so I plan to put together some more hyperlapses and practice the stabilization of the sequences. Stay tuned, if they turn out like I have them planned in my head they should be awesome!
If you’re here for the music I’ve added this week’s song to the top of the Spotify playlist which is linked below. Also I have had a surprisingly good response to the two tutorials so far. If you have followed along and are interested in any other effects or possible step by step instructions feel free to let me know in the comment section I’d love to know what you’re interested in.
Still balding but not bald,