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How to Capture a Beautiful Time Lapse of the Northern Lights with Blink

by Dean E July 06, 2016

How to Capture a Beautiful Time Lapse of the Northern Lights with Blink

I recently had the pleasure of traveling to the Yukon in search of Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights). Photos of this phenomenon are always pretty spectacular and I wondered if I could capture something similar but in time lapse format using my GoPro. As a backup I also packed my trusty Panasonic Lumix, a nice compact camera with all the requisite manual controls.

I had been wanting to put the latest CamDo Blink Time Lapse Controller prototype (which was officially released in June 2016) through its paces in a more challenging environment and this was the perfect opportunity. We had recently iterated our successful outdoor solar enclosures so I also took one of these along to see what interesting time lapses we might be able to capture.

You can read more about Blink and its unique time lapse and power saving features in this recent blog post.

Other issues to consider in long term time lapse photography include battery life and leaving a device out in the elements for a period of time (and the associated mounting and anti-theft challenges).

I was able to kill two birds with one stone by using the CamDo outdoor solar enclosure.

Battery life is a function of how long you want the final video to be and/or how long you want to capture the scene. In my case I had two different scenarios - daytime time lapse and night time time lapse. You can calculate the various time lapse parameters including battery life via our interactive Time Lapse calculator here.

 

GoPros are great little cameras but have significant limitations around battery life for this sort of longer term application. By using a Blink programmable long term time lapse controller combined with the Solar Outdoor Enclosure I was able to use a V44 battery so that battery life would not be a concern.

The other advantage is that the internal GoPro battery can be removed - the Blink product monitors the health of the camera and if it hangs for some reason, perform a hard reset by removing power completely from the camera and reapplying. Check out the footage here:

I also got some nice cloud time lapse footage:

The Yukon is a wonderful wilderness area in the north of Canada, renowned for outdoor activities and the northern lights and I hope to get back there soon.

Next on the wishlist is to go check out the Southern Lights (Aurora Australis) in Tasmania, Australia or Southern New Zealand!

Equipment Used:

GoPro Settings:
  • Night Lapse
  • Protune On
    • ISO 800
    • White balance 5500K
    • Exposure 30 secs
    • Sharpness Soft
    • Colour Neutral
    • Continuous

DON'T BE SHY... SEND US YOUR FOOTAGE!

Have you used our products for one of your time lapse projects? Send it our way at marketing@cam-do.com. We might even feature it on our website or blog (with your permission, of course). With so many applications (and so many creative CamDo customers), it's great to show how our customers are utilizing CamDo Solutions products.


Dean E
Dean E

Author



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