Time Lapse in Joshua Tree National Park During the Perseid Meteor Shower

Last week we featured a stunning time-lapse video that unfortunately failed to capture Perseid meteor shower well because of too much air traffic in the area. Landscape photographer Henry Jun Wah Lee attempted the same kind of video in Joshua Tree National Park. Even though there’s still quite a bit of air traffic, you can clearly see quite a few shooting stars that light up the sky.

Regarding the issue of shooting stars being so brief in a time-lapse video (an issue that arose in the comments of our previous post), Lee writes in the Vimeo comments:

Each of the meteors only last 1 frame but with so many during the meteor shower, it looks like a lot going on. Wide aperture also makes the trails look wider/more visible. And I angle the lens so that it picks up as much of the trail as possible when a meteor goes across the sky. In this case, I pointed away from the source direction. So you see longer streaks. I only use 1 second intervals between exposures for smooth motion.

The photos were shot with a Canon 5D Mark II and EF 16-35mm L lens at f/2.8, ISO6400, and 20 second exposures. There’s also the obligatory Sigur Ros music accompanying the video.

  • Billy_winder


  • Rapunzel

    there is a strange light at 33 seconds that looks like the shooting star hit something and evaporated! can anyone say what that was?

  • Michael Zhang

    Nice catch. No idea what that is.

    Bottom left hand corner at 33 seconds. It looks like something got vaporized.

  • seegullmedia

    Amazing. This is inspirational!

  • Remi Trast

    I miss the park! We used to see the best astrological phenomenon out there. :) This video is gorgeous…

  • Five Nerds

    Absolutely breath-taking. Thanks for sharing!

  • Jim Pook

    I have a question about how this was shot. 20 second exposures with 1 second between shots. Check.

    “Each of the meteors only last 1 frame ” Check.

    OK then, how do we see the motion of individual meteors from one side of the frame to the other? Based on the info at hand, I would expect to see a single, non-moving streak flash against the moving star field. In other words, the meteor would appear as a long line from start to finish within the frame. In order to get movement that we see in the video, there would have to be multiple frames showing the same meteor as it traveled across the frame.

    Technical issues aside, it is a truly fantastic bit of photography/video. I would love to see this in Hi-Def 1080p on a big screen!

  • Tally

    I think that there are two overlaid sets of images. It looks like the meteors were filmed at a very fast timelapse rate (less time between frames) whereas the night sky was shot at a much slower timelapse rate (more time between the start of each frame).

    Not accurate to real life, but it sure does look amazing.

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    Assista filmes, programas jornalísticos de entretenimento, culturais, documentários, canais de video clipes, programação adulta tudo ao vivo em seu computador pessoal ou notebook, em qualquer lugar do mundo em que você esteja

  • Dilworthdesigns

    Correction, that would be the obligatory music from The Album Leaf not Sigur Ros. There from my lovely hometown of San Diego!

  • Nilson B

    “astrological”? Right…


    maybe a ufo i might sugest that you ……..RUN


    maybe a ufo i might sugest that you ……..RUN