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Capturing the night sky

Cheryl Santa Maria, staff writer
December 26, 2011 — The night sky is breathtaking - and Randy Halverson has captured it with jaw-dropping clarity.

Halverson uses a camera attached to a rig to create time lapse films
Halverson uses a camera attached to a rig to create time lapse films

For the past two years, the South Dakota photographer has been using a stop motion technique to create stunning time lapse films.

From the red supergiant star Antares to the bow and arrow of Sagittarius, Halverson has filmed it all - and he's worked in a variety of conditions, including ones that are sub-zero.

His winter night work is a testament to his dedication. Shot outdoors in February while temperatures dipped to -31°C, he has produced stunning results, capturing a near-perfect sky that prominently features the constellation Orion.

His preferred environment, though, is one that isn't too hot or too cold.

“The ideal conditions [for filming] are probably in the fall, because ... there aren't as many bugs around,” Halverson explains.

“The most memorable scene I've ever shot would be the Aurora [Borealis] in South Dakota and Wisconsin. I've also shot some meteors that have turned out really well.”

Halverson uses a camera attached to a rig to snap still photos in a series of sessions spread out over a few days' time. The best images from the shoots are then stitched together with the help of a computer.

Halverson's latest project - an examination of the Milky Way amidst the flare of a LED light - will be released in the near future. To view more of his work, visit:

Music provided by Simon Wilkinson at:

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