If successfully funded, our extensive set of three tutorial videos will offer Alan Dyer’s skill and experience, in his clear and engaging style, to show you how to shoot and process great nightscape images and time-lapse videos of the night sky.
Alan Dyer’s Nightscapes and Time-Lapses tutorial videos will offer comprehensive and unique guides, illustrating in step-by-step fashion how to shoot in the field … then process in Photoshop at the computer.
Each tutorial video is expected to be at least 60 to 90 minutes long, for a total of 3 to 4.5 hours of instruction. The tutorial videos will be made available both as a digital download and on a USB drive.
Over several hours of instruction these programs will cover all you need to know to start shooting and processing still images and time-lapse movies of the night sky.
We take you from an urban location, then out to rural scenic sites to show you how to shoot the full range of images possible – from moonrises in the city, to moonlit star trail scenes in the country, then to Milky Way nightscapes at remote dark-sky sites.
The series will take you on a step-by-step progression from easy to more challenging subjects and techniques. You’ll start out as a novice but end up an expert.
PROGRAM 1 – Choosing and Using the Right Gear
- The best cameras to buy
- Choosing the best lenses
- Choosing zooms vs. primes
- Choosing automatic vs. manual lenses
- How to choose and use intervalometers
- How to set the best exposure
- How to balance aperture, shutter and ISO speeds
- How to minimize noise
- When to use, and not use, noise reduction
- Canon vs. Nikon – pros and cons
- How to focus at night
- How to set all other key camera menu functions!
- Plus Photo 101 segments on: Exposure basics, File types, Noise sources
PROGRAM 2 – Shooting Stills and Time-Lapses in the Field
- Shooting at urban sites: moonrises, twilights and conjunctions
- Software for finding locations and planning shoots
- How to shoot auroras
- Software for forecasting auroras
- How to compose scenes
- How to make use of moonlight
- Taking multiple images for focus stacking
- How to plan a moonlit shoot
- How to capture the Milky Way
- How to add local lighting – carefully!
- How to prevent – and create – star trails
- How to track the sky for maximum detail
- How to calculate and shoot basic time-lapses
- Software for aiding time-lapse calculation
- plus Astro 101 segments on: aurora, Milky Way, moon phases, sky motion
PROGRAM 3 – Processing Stills and Time-Lapses
- Choosing a processing workflow
- How to employ non-destructive editing at all stages
- Importing and selecting images in Adobe Bridge and Lightroom
- How to develop Raw files in Adobe Camera Raw and Lightroom
- How to apply advanced settings such as Dehaze, Lens Correction, and HSL sliders
- How to apply masked Local Adjustments and Graduated Filters
- How to use Photoshop for advanced editing
- How to use Smart Filters and Adjustment Layers
- How to mask the ground and sky for separate editing
- How to layer and mask multiple exposures
- How to subtract a dark frame
- How to layer tracked and untracked exposures
- How to stack star trails using Photoshop and specialized programs
- How to export intermediate sets for time-lapses
- How to assemble time-lapse movies using Photoshop and other programs
- How to create an “accumulating” star trail movie
We want to take Alan's expertise to step you through the process of creating your own incredible nighttime images and time-lapse videos.
Alan will start with the basics of using your DSLR at night, including how to use specialized equipment for those "wow" shots, show you how to shoot time-lapse sequences, stack star trails, capture Milky Way scenes, and much more.
We will devote an entire program to demonstrating how to use Camera Raw, Lightroom, and Adobe Photoshop CC to polish your raw files in post-production.
To create these tutorials with our desired quality, we need your help to fund professional production and editing. We want the final programs to be ones you can enjoy watching, view at your own pace, and return to over and over to learn more.
Alan Dyer — Presenter Alan is one of Canada’s best known astronomy writers, having co-authored three editions of The Backyard Astronomer’s Guide with Terence Dickinson. Alan is a contributing editor to Canada’s astronomy magazine, SkyNews, and a contributing editor to Sky and Telescope. His photos have been featured on Spaceweather.com, APOD Astronomy Picture of the Day, the Weather Channel, in National Geographic magazine, and in many other magazines and calendars. One of his images was selected as the cover for the 2017 edition of the prestigious Observer’s Handbook of the RASC.
Alan is a member of The World at Night photography group (TWANight.org), one of only two Canadians in this exclusive group.
Fifteen eclipse chasing trips have taken Alan to every continent and unique places where he can stand for a few minutes (or seconds) in the shadow of the Moon. From 1993 to 2013 Alan was a program producer at the TELUS World of Science in Calgary where he inspired thousands of amateur astronomers with his enthusiastic and popular presentations. You may catch Alan being interviewed on radio or TV, as the media have come to appreciate Alan’s clear and straightforward explanation of astronomical events such as an upcoming meteor shower or lunar eclipse.
Alan has presented workshops on Capturing the World at Night: Nightscape and Time-Lapse Photography across Western Canada. Our new tutorial videos will make these materials available with even more comprehensive content to anyone interested in learning these skills. Participants in these workshops have written these comments:
"I have attended photography courses, and the best photographer I have met has been Alan Dyer. His knowledge is unsurpassed ... Alan is the best of the best and next best is not even in sight.”
"Alan Dyer's presentation was world-class.”
"Well done – interesting, informative and inspirational.”
Check out Alan's time-lapses, "Rocky Mountain Nights" and "Moonlight on the Prairie" below along with other samples of his timelapse work and other nightscape images on The Amazing Sky.
Tim Carlielle — Videographer and Production: Tim is Production Manager and President of Progressive Media Video. While in high school, Tim was passionate about videography and film. He had the opportunity to spend a summer volunteering in Rwanda, where he created online documentary videos for a humanitarian project about the work of the organization and the people they impacted.
After graduation, Tim worked as a freelance videographer and editor, and recently launched his own production company, Progressive Media. He offers marketing solutions with an emphasis on online video. Having produced a fabulous time-lapse video during a visit to Venice, Tim quickly saw the need and potential for tutorial videos on NightScape and Time-Lapse Photography.
Bev & Ken From — All-Star Telescope, Distribution and Marketing. Ken is an avid amateur astronomer who became hooked on the night sky during a three year volunteer stint in central Nigeria. Having built several Dobsonian telescopes for visual observing, Ken has also become an avid astrophotographer. In 2006, Bev and Ken opened All-Star Telescope where they have connected with hundreds of others interested in astronomy. See The All-Star Telescope Story, produced by Tim Carlielle.
With a passion for southern skies (and warmer weather) they have taken astronomy equipment to South Africa, Zambia, Nepal, and Hawaii. Each year they host a New Mexico Star Party and offer regular Observer Nights and imaging sessions at All-Star Telescope near Didsbury, Alberta.
In 2013 Celestron selected All-Star Telescope for their Canadian "Perspectives on Imaging" Award. They have hosted Alan Dyer’s workshops on Deep-Sky Astrophotography and on Nightscape and Time-Lapse photography for the past five years.
All-Star Telescope will be hosting the digital downloads, as well as sales of the tutorial on USB drives once production is complete.
1. Tutorial Videos as digital download or on a USB drive
2. Infused on Aluminum - 24" x 18" print of Alan Dyer's image of "Star Trails over Double Arch"
3. Two NightScape digital photos by Alan Dyer for personal use as wallpaper: Orion over the Hoodoos and Ultrawide Aurora
MORE TIMELAPSE AND NIGHTSCAPE EXAMPLES: Here are more of Alan Dyer's timelapse videos as examples of what you might create using this tutorial:
Risks and challenges
We hope to complete the video tutorials and have the digital download and USB drives available in September so you can take advantage of warmer fall nights with the Milky Way over famous landscapes. We will attempt to minimize delays in production but health and unforeseen personal circumstances can factor into production. Production of the USB drives can proceed once the tutorials are completed but supplier response time, shipping and quality control could result in delays.
Supporters can follow the progress of the project on the All-Star Telescope website.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)