Time Lapse Photography

During our photo workshops we try to photograph the stars at least least one night if the weather and location are good. Here is a nice example of time-lapse photography capturing the Milky Way rising by William Castleman, a professor of veterinary pathology at the University of Florida.

Galactic Center of Milky Way Rises over Texas Star Party from William Castleman on Vimeo.

Here is his explanation of how he captured this video:
The time-lapse sequence was taken with the simplest equipment that I brought to the star party. I put the Canon EOS-5D (AA screen modified to record hydrogen alpha at 656 nm) with an EF 15mm f/2.8 lens on a weighted tripod. Exposures were 20 seconds at f/2.8 ISO 1600 followed by 40 second interval. Exposures were controlled by an interval timer shutter release (Canon TC80N3). Power was provided by a Hutech EOS203 12v power adapter run off a 12v deep cycle battery. Large jpg files shot in custom white balance were batch processed in Photoshop (levels, curves, contrast, Noise Ninja noise reduction, resize) and assembled in Quicktime Pro. Editing/assembly was with Sony Vegas Movie Studio 9.
The stock anti-alias (AA) filter blocks a range of red wavelengths so the camera will render desireable skin tones. 656 nm is one of those wavelengths that also is emitted by emission nebula (star forming gas nebula). The replacement filter permits passage of 656 nm so that emission nebula can be recorded.
Contrast and brightness have been increased to make the Milky Way more stunning in the video. However, standing in the field at the Texas Star Party with dark-adapted eyes with the Milky Way overhead is a very stunning experience. Many first-time observers remark that the rising of the Milky Way looks like storm clouds coming in over the horizon. When the Milky Way is overhead it casts shadows. You can hold your hand up and move it around and see the shadow move around on the ground in front of you. It is a moving experience the first time you see the Milky Way that brightly in the sky. Fort Davis, Texas is at 5,000 feet altitude with very dark and transparent skies.