One of the fastest growing trends in digital photography is the art of timelapse films. So visually stunning are these short films that it seems that every day there is a plethora of new ones doing the rounds on the Internet. Perhaps one of the most striking areas within this genre is in the field of astrophotography. In this highly interesting film, Director of Photography Tom Guilmette spends a few days in the deserts of California with a small team of timelapse filmmakers capturing the heavens:
Coined Timefest by the team involved, the project involved 12 photographers and filmmakers with a plethora of equipment, bags of enthusiasm, and a perfect location. Amongst the equipment they brought with them was a number of prototype Kessler motion control rigs. Also in the group was renowned timelapse photographer Tom Lowe who was working on his film of the skies of the Southwestern US called Timescapes.
Based in a rented house close to their locations, the team spent several nights in the surrounding desert in some fantastic locations. During the day they would sleep to around midday, then spend several hours preparing equipment. Timing their journeys carefully, the photographers would set out before sunset to their location for the night. On arrival, the well-oiled team would set up no fewer than 18 timelapse Canon EOS 5D Mark II’s capturing different elements of the night sky and surrounding landscape. Many of the cameras were set on motion control rigs to gently pan across or dolly into a scene. One of the revolutionary new rigs from Kessler allowed a Canon 5D to be moved forward into a scene whilst changing the focus, creating a timelapse pull focus.
During the shoots, some of which lasted in excess of six hours, extreme caution needed to be exercised not to introduce any extraneous light into the scene, such as a torch or computer screen light.
The film shows a few days in the lives of a dedicated and highly talented group of photographers, passionately creating some memorable timelapse imagery.
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