A rare clear night sky in December 2017 found me getting out of bed at 4am and heading off to my local hill, Moel Famau, for an invigorating climb before going to work.
I wasn't planning on any photography that morning, but the view out over the Vale of Clwyd, taking in the market town of Denbigh and the brightly lit coastal strip in the far distance while stars and clouds wheeled by overhead was just too good to resist.
So instead of a 35 minute climb to the summit of Moel Famau, I trekked about a third of the way up to capture this view, which included the Moel y Parc transmitter with its red anti-collision lights glowing brightly against the dark background.
Getting a decent exposure, which allowed the stars to be clearly seen but without burning out the much brighter artifical lights was tricky, and I relied heavily on post processing after the event to keep all areas of the video within reasonable viewing brightness levels.
The direction I shot this video has a lot of light pollution, as you can see from the yellow light on the clouds, but instead of being negative about this fact of modern life I actually like including glowing clouds in my night time time lapse videos.
As I shoot everything in the camera's native RAW format, I have plenty of latitude to alter the white balanace in post-processing to create a dynamic colour contrast between the deep blue of the night sky and the yellow of the light polluted clouds, an effect that I think looks rather pleasing in moderation.
Towards the end of the shoot, as the time to pack up and go to work approached, a heavier band of cloud swept across the heavens, effectively blocking the stars but providing a rather timely ending sequence for my video.
So then it was back down to the car for the drive to work, just as the sky was starting to lighten in the east and 'normal' folk were getting out of bed!
Filename - vale of clwyd timelapse 06.mp4
Camera - Canon EOS 6D
Lens - 14mm prime
Exposure (start of sequence) - 15 secs @ f2.8, ISO3200
Exposure (end of sequence) - 15 secs @ f2.8, ISO3200
Filters - None.
Shooting interval - 15 seconds
Location - Moel Famau, North Wales
This clip - HD 720p, 30fps
Clip duration - 17 seconds
All content copyright © Howard Litherland 2009-2017 unless otherwise stated.