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Unbelievably Simple Astro Timelapse Tips With Michael Shainblum

By Anthony Thurston on December 19th 2013


Michael Shainblum is a filmmaker/photographer behind some of the most beautiful and well done timelapse films, like MirrorCity and Existence, that I have ever come across. As part of the Creators Project, a joint venture between Intel and Vice to highlight artists and creators, Michael was recently profiled while working on his new timelapse “Into the Atmosphere”.

In the profile Michael talks about his background, how he got started with timelapse and astrophotography. He even talks a bit about the gear he uses for those of you interested in how he gets such amazing footage. Probably one of the biggest things that he says, that stood out to me, is that its not about the gear you have, it’s more about the planning and preparation that you put into your art that will make it stand apart from the crowd. This and other great tidbits on timelapse and astrophotography are in the feature below:

Another thing I think is worth pointing out is that he mentions that you don’t need really expensive gear to pull this sort of astrophotography or timelapse video off. All you need is a basic DSLR and a “fast” wide lens. Probably the best camera on the market right now for astrophotography is the Canon 6D (also one of the cheapest full frame cameras on the market), and a great lens choice is the Rokinon 14mm f/2.8 (great image quality and a steal at only $329).

As I mentioned in the opening paragraph, the timelapse that he was working on while the above feature was being filmed is called “Into The Atmosphere”. It is described as “a tribute to the state of California and its stunning deserts, mountains and coastlines captured over the course of a year and brought to life as never before using over 12,000 photos.”

[REWIND: Find The Best “Dark Sky” In Your Area For Astrophotography]

It really is a beautiful video, if you have not had the pleasure of watching it before – or even if you have – check it out below. It is one of my favorites from this last year – just make sure to watch it in HD.

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Anthony Thurston is a photographer based in the Salem, Oregon area specializing in Boudoir. He recently started a new project, Fiercely Boudoir to help support the growing boudoir community. Find him over on Instagram. You may also connect with him via Email.

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Gavin Hardcastle

    Great article and videos. Any tips on the dolly system Michael uses?

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  2. Johnny

    Love It!

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