Q and As

Temporal Distortion / Slideshow

Through the creation of his time-lapse videos, Randy Halverson has captured everything from the Northern Lights and meteors to Orion and the Milky Way. He talks to TiP about the advantages and possibilities of time-lapse photography and how it can represent our Universe.

What first drew you to time-lapse photography?

I was first interested in it, because I like how it allows you to see things that you wouldn’t normally be able to see. I did it as long ago as the late 90s on storm clouds, except I was shooting video and would speed it up. But with Digital SLR cameras it also allows me to shoot the night sky, which I couldn’t do before. So you can see the Milky Way and Aurora very clearly.

Your work is focused around the stars, sky and landscapes – what is it that interests you about capturing these natural phenomena, and how do you choose your locations?

It somewhat goes back to the first answer. You can see the stars with the naked eye, but you don’t get all the details like you do with long exposures. Then you put it into time-lapse and you see a lot of things that wouldn’t otherwise be possible; things like meteors with persistent trains and satellites tumbling across the sky. The Aurora shows up to the naked eye, but it’s not as bright and you don’t see it move like you do in a time-lapse.

Most of the locations I choose to shoot are near me. It takes a long time to get enough time-lapse to produce a video. Where I am, there isn’t a lot of light pollution and it is just easier to shoot locally night after night. I have shot time-lapse in other states, like Wyoming, Colorado and Utah. I like to have an interesting landscape and also try to have something in the foreground, to give a sense of perspective and show movement of the camera on the dolly.

What do you think your time-lapse videos represent about our understanding of the universe?

It does make it easy to see how the earth is rotating and it can also help you see our position in the Milky Way.

What is your next project?

I am in the planning stages of one I will be doing this spring-fall, but haven’t worked out all the details yet!

To see more of Randy Halverson’s videos and images, visit his website at www.dakotalapse.com