Time-lapse photography of clouds and other phenomena in the sky

Martin Setvak

Gallery 2023  

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My present timelapsing gear consists of full frame Sony A7C camera (with FE 28-60mm F4-5.6, TTArtisan 11mm F2.8 ED Fisheye and Sigma 17 mm f/4 DG DN Contemporary lenses) and two APS-C cameras: Samsung NX500 (with Samyang 12mm F2.0 NCS CS,Samyang 8mm F2.8 UMC Fisheye II and Asahi Takumar SMC 55mm F2 M42 lenses) and Ricoh GXR camera with its A16 (24-85mm) zoom unit. Comments on why I use these cameras can be found in the Introduction to time-lapse photography page.  

All the times below are given in UTC (GMT).

Sources of satellite, radar and other meteorological data used below: CHMIEUMETSAT  and  NOAA CLASS.

Note: movie files below, which are stored as .mkv (encrypted here as H.265 RGB) are identical to those stored as .mp4 (here standard H.264 YUV420 encryption), but should have somewhat better quality, namely in fine transitions of the blue sky. However, to play these, you will most likely have to do so outside of your browser, either using a system movie player, or one of the external ones (e.g. MPC-HC or VLC).

2023-03-30   17:30 - 17:55 UTC  (0h 25m)
Sony A7C & TTArtisan 11mm F2.8 ED Fisheye,  interval 4 seconds, speed 100x

20230330_1730-1755utc_Kacerov_25-fps_1920x1080_x264.mp4  (41 MB)

Evening shelf cloud.  Captured from our flat at Praha - Kačerov, Czech Republic, southwestward view. See also these two static images - resized original (out of camera JPG) image, and image processed from raw file (uncompressed ARW file). 

See also the CZRAD radar loop (red dot indicating place and time of the timelapse above) and MSG satellite loop (ending with sunset, just before the timelapse was started).
2023-05-05    04:01 - 05:18 UTC  (01h 17m)
Sony A7C & TTArtisan 11mm F2.8 ED Fisheye,  interval 5 seconds, speed 150x

20230505_0401-0518utc_Kruger_Olifants-River_1920x1080_x264.mp4  (70 MB)

Morning sky above Olifants River in Kruger National Park (or alternate site), from Olifants Rest Camp, South Africa (southward view). In Kruger Park (including fenced camps) you must not leave your tripod with camera unattended, otherwise Vervet monkeys or Baboons (present in most of places) may try to steal it, or at least damage it... 
2023-05-07    03:54 - 05:07 UTC  (01h 13m)
Sony A7C & Sony SEL2860,  interval 5 seconds, speed 150x

20230507_0354-0507utc_Kruger_Letaba-River_1920x1080_x264.mp4  (50 MB)

Sunrise above Letaba River in Kruger National Park (or alternate site), from Letaba Rest Camp, South Africa. As we are south of the Equator, the Sun rises at opposite angle than at the northern hemisphere. And the "drifting boulders" in the river (at the beginning of the sequence) are hippos.

2023-05-10   16:34 - 19:37 UTC  (03h 03m)
Sony A7C & TTArtisan 11mm F2.8 ED Fisheye,  interval 25 seconds, speed 750x

20230510_1634-1937utc_Kruger_Punda-Maria_1620x1080.mp4  (37 MB)

Timelapse of the southern sky taken from Punda Maria Rest Camp in Kruger National Park (or alternate site), South Africa. As you can see from the timelapse, the night was rather bad, with some dissipating clouds spreading from the south (well seen in the lower right part of the movie). Unfortunately, it was the only nighttime timelapse I managed to take during our entire 10-day trip to the park. In the Kruger NP, it is forbidden to stay overnight outside the camps (for security reasons - wild animals), and all the camps have lighting - which makes night-time astrophotography there almost impossible. Also, we were in the park around the time of the full moon, so we only had dark skies on several last nights, for a couple of hours in the evening. The timelapse was taken from an upper terrace of our cottage there (the only place with an almost open view to the sky), which also was the source of the variable illumination of the nearby trees. Well, if you visit the Kruger NP, you are there for the animals, not for the night sky... Finally, the surroundings of the Kruger NP are quite light-polluted, as can be seen in the right (western) part of the timelapse.

See also the still image from the end of the timelapse sequence (19:37 UTC), Metop-C satellite images from almost the same time (19:30 UTC) - AVHRR channel 3 image and Night-microphysics RGB image, and MSG2 (IODC) satellite loops (12:00 - 23:45 UTC) in IR10.8, WV6.2 and WV7.3 bands, showing the clouds movement and high humidity at higher levels over the area. The green/red dot shows the location and time of the timelapse, southward view.

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