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This Night Sky Timelapse is Not What It Seems


Here’s a beautiful new short film titled “Night Light” by UK-based photographer and filmmaker Arthur Cauty. While it may look like timelapse photography, it’s actually comprised entirely of still photos with motion and lighting added in.

It’s “an exercise in light painting and parallax displacement to create the illusion of 3D (or 2.5D) and motion in a series of still photographs captured after nightfall,” Cauty says.

The shots were old photos from Cauty’s archive showing national parks around the world including Arches National Park, Joshua Tree National Park, Capitol Reef National Park, and Dartmoor National Park.

“The film was put together from lockdown using old photographs as a reminder of what exists outside my four walls and so others can enjoy the wonders of the night sky from their solitary confines,” Cauty says. “The COVID19 pandemic forced me to put a number of projects on hold. Being unable to shoot anything new I took the opportunity to look back through my astrophotography and nightscape work from the past couple of years.”

Each “timelapse” shot in the film is typically 3-5 still photos of the same subject with different lighting in each. Cauty blended and transitioned the lighting to give the effect of light being faded in and out of the scenes.

“All motion achieved in post-production,” Cauty says. “The only time-lapse shots are the star trails.”

You can buy art prints of Cauty’s photos in his online shop. You can also find more of his work on his website, Facebook, and Instagram.