Artist Stitches Stunning Panoramic Time Lapse of Star-Trails (Video)

Video screen capture. Vincent Brady via YouTube

Time-lapse films have become something of an art form lately, thanks to improved gadgetry and computer editing software that allows the viewer to see clearly a flow of changes through time. Nature is one fitting muse, from time-lapse videos of corals, supercell storms, glaciers, and more. But the night sky holds the most mystery, and that's perhaps why Michigan-based photographer Vincent Brady's panoramic, long-exposure time-lapse videos of "startrails" is so compelling; in only few minutes we are able to see the progressive march of the stars much like our ancestors did, albeit translated for our digital age. Take a look:

Using a custom-made rig of four cameras, Brady captured these breath-taking scenes in a seamless fashion, editing afterward to create what he calls "Planetary Panoramas." It's the result of previous photographic experiments that Brady attempted in daytime panoramas and nighttime long-exposures, giving him the idea to combine the two techniques in 2012. Brady explains his creative process and techniques:

Since the Earth is rotating at a steady 1,040 mph I created a custom rig of 4 cameras with fisheye lenses to capture the entire night-sky in motion. Thus the images show the stars rotating around the north star as well as the effect of the southern pole as well and a 360-degree panorama of the scene on Earth. Each camera is doing nonstop long exposures, typically about 1 minute consecutively for the life of the camera battery. Usually for about 3 hours. I then made a script to stitch all the thousands of these panoramas into this time-lapse.

The footage was filmed in remote places in Utah, Wyoming, Montana, and Missouri, on cold and dark nights that provided the best visibility. I like to think of outdoor photographers as intrepid souls who can dare to venture where the rest of us can't; these moving panoramas would be therapeutic for city dwellers living under light pollution, or those of us who lack enough time in the great outdoors to do a little stargazing. Planetary Panoramas offers poetic insight into the spiraling dynamics of the universe, as we spin and drift away in a vast ocean of constant celestial movement. Check out more over at Vincent Brady's website and Facebook page.