Final Days

Wow, what a location and what a great house. I stumbled across this house when I was hunting for the Quarry Way location with my time lapse buddy Sean Moss. 

I chatted briefly to the owner who told me that the old place was going to be knocked to the ground shortly as it was in a pretty bad state of repairs.  When we left the property I new that I had to get back a.s.a.p and shoot that old house before it was gone forever.

My approach for this shoot was to continue to explore astro photography and lighting through time lapse. I had two small 6″ battery operated lights which I used for lighting the inside and exterior of the house. There were a couple of other light sources that I couldn’t control during the shoot. The first one being a sensor light on the neighboring house, and some street traffic from cars coming over a hill about 5km away. The car headlights lights are what gave the flickering light effect on the house, and which I ultimately used as a lightning cue punctuated with sound effects.  

After a quick survey of the house and its surroundings I found four angles that I new I could shoot in one night. Each shot generally takes about three hours to shoot because each frame of vision is a 32 second exposure. These long exposures are the key to getting all the beautiful detail in the Milky Way plus reduce the noise in the image.  
The opening shot which transitions from day to night was my first attempt using a technique that involves manual exposure change combined with a piece of post production software called LR Time Lapse. Its a technique that I really like because it gives me complete control over the exposure and avoids the common flickering problem you get with running the camera on auto. Very little time was spent grading these shots, and they only needed a basic grade with Adobe Camera Raw in conjunction with LR Time Lapse, before being exported as ProRes movies through After Effects.

With the experience of two very successful astro time lapse shoots behind me, I’m now in the planning stage of something much bigger……can’t wait.

Time Lapse Cinematographer
Jeff Gaunt