Guide to Shooting Time-Lapse Photography at Night

On this video, photographer Jay P. Morgan from the Slanted Lens takes a look at shooting a timelapse photography at night showing the milky way.

Morgan went to Mono Lake in northern California to demonstrate shooting time-lapse photography at night in the field. In the video the Milky way moves across the night sky behind the tufas, which are the towers of calcium build up present all over the Mono Lake area.

Morgan used an article on Star Circle Academy that can help get you started. It is important to scout your location ahead of time. It isn’t a good idea to show up half an hour before throw down the camera and expect to get a good shot – shooting timelapse of the milky way requires patience and several trials. You will need  to get in early and check out the location. Morgan compiled a list of things he took with him to make the experience a little easier:

  • A backpack – We had to walk quite a long way to get to the area where we wanted to shoot and a backpack makes it a lot easier to haul everything you need.
  • Chair or foam pad – The time-lapse is going to take a while and you need something to sit or rest on.
  • Headlamps and extra batteries – Even if you don’t arrive in the dark, you will probably be packing up in the dark.
  • Dim flashlight – A small light like the kind found on keychains will give you enough light to move around while the time lapse going, but won’t be so much that it will affect your subject, in this case, the tufas.

This isn’t the first video we are showing you photographers doing tutorials on shooting the milky way. Earlier this year we covered a behind the scenes look at an attempt to photograph the Milkyway with a guide that looked at the entire process, starting from preparations and up to the final editing. If you are looking to learn more about shooting timelapses check out photographer’s Gavin Hoey look at shooting timelapses.

You can find all of Jay P. Morgan’s videos here on LensVid on the following link.

Iddo Genuth
Iddo Genuth is the founder and chief editor of He has been a technology reporter working for international publications since the late 1990's and covering photography since 2009. Iddo is also a co-founder of a production company specializing in commercial food and product visual content.

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