Down is up and up is down. Or is it the other way around? Earth and a fortiori the whole solar system, even our home galaxy- endlessly float into space as the universe expands. As the Earth rotates around the Sun and on itself, it gives the impression that the sky is actually moving for an observer on its surface. That’s probably why it took so long for humanity to accept that the Sun was at the center of the solar system and not the Earth!
All the modern films taken at night usually capture this celestial course from a fixed point of the Earth. Thus you will most likely watch the moon or the milky way make their way across the firmament. In the Northern Hemisphere, it seems to move from left to right, and the opposite in the Southern Hemisphere. Nonetheless have you ever seen a film where the night sky is fixed and the Earth moves instead? Well, now you have!That was the whole point of this short time-lapse film that I dubbed ‘Orbem Terræ’, or orbiting Earth in latin. The goal is to bring a whole new perspective on how we actually move against the background sky! In this manner, some of the clips give a very cool effect where you almost feel like you’re on the International Space Station lokking down at the Earth. This ‘floating’ effect is admittedly unsettling though, as if we will fall into the abyss of the universe. However only now can you appreciate the true movement of rotation of our planet in the solar system. Some of the clips are also tilted, reversed and rotated on purpose to accentuate the effect, so much that sometimes, you have no clue what is up and what is down! It’s especially true for the scenes featuring water reflection!
To achieve this particular effect, it actually not rocket science. There exist simple devices that, if set in the right way, can follow and track a particular point of the sky by compensation for the rotation of the Earth. By mountain your camera on top of those ‘tracker’, you can now have a fixed sky, a rotating Earth effect, and some advantages as the cherry on top: more details in the night sky objects!
This short film is actually a compilation of all the best tracked shots I have acquired during the past 4 years. After all my different movies, I’ve been asked a number of times to put together this compilation, so here you go! They were taken all over the globe from Europe to South America, Africa to North America. It features some of the most detailed astrophotography sequences on the market for this quality output, including some never-seen-before ones!
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Cameras: Sony a7s, 2 Canon 6D modded, Sony a7rII
Motion control: Vixen Polarie, Syrp 3 axis systemLenses: Sigma 14mm f1.8, Sigma 20mm f1.4, Sigma 35mm f1.4, Sigma 50mm f1.4, Sigma 85mm f1.4, Samyang 135mm f2, Kenko extender HDPRO x2 (eclispe)
Post-process: Adobe Lightroom, Timelapse+ STUDIO plug-in for Lr, Ps CS6, TDLF, Sequence, FCPX