Time lapse: Very Little Stars

By Phil Plait | October 5, 2012 7:00 am

I don’t know about you, but after this week I could use a nice time lapse video right about now. So soak up Very Little Stars, made by Ben Wiggins. It starts off like most do, showing beautiful nature scenery and using a slowly moving rig to change the perspective; I love that sort of thing because it adds a sense of drama and unearthliness I find very compelling.

But you’ll get a hint of more at about 55 seconds in, when he shows a "tilt shift" scene, using focus to make normal-sized objects look tiny. But then at a minute twenty, things get very interesting indeed.

That is so cool! That train shot, and then the city, were clearly taken from a moving car using a slow frame rate. The sense of inertia, speed, while still depicting slow motion is enthralling. The music helps, too. The technical difference between this and other time lapse videos isn’t huge, but it really affects the feel and impact of the resulting photography.

Tip o’ the lens cap to It’s Okay To be Smart, a blog you should be reading.

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Astronomy, Cool stuff, Pretty pictures
MORE ABOUT: Ben Wiggins, time lapse

Comments (10)

  1. Waydude

    That was a good one! It helped that the music was by Devotchka, one of my favorite groups.
    Phil, if you have a chance, they are Denver based and play in Boulder often. I saw them here in Salt Lake and it was one of the best concerts I have ever been too.

    And I have been backstage at Van Halen twice back in the 90’s! So, there you go.

  2. Nice one! I still liked the last one better. The one with the spider and the storm.

  3. Nate

    Is that a solar eclipse at 1:18?

  4. Dave

    Portland, OR at 1:36

  5. Crux Australis

    I love the clock on the Union Square tower.

    @Nate: Yes

  6. ryttu3k

    How many cities are in there? Dave@4 IDed Portland, and I can see San Francisco and LA…

  7. Jack

    Wonderful video! I love time-lapses too and finally I made my first infrared try… have a look at this if you are interested http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lt7wrmqC_Mw next week I will upload a second test… longer and better than the first one for sure ūüėČ

  8. Jeff

    Gillan is hot, Phil. Remember you’re married.

  9. Matt B.

    I loved that. I think the tilted focus was backward on a cityscape near the end, though; the distant part was in focus and the near was not, so it didn’t achieve the normal effect. I’m amazed Wiggins was able to do the train so well. I’d guess it took a few tries.


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