Earlier this year, we featured a mesmerizing time-lapse video of fireflies by Michigan photographer Vincent Brady. Now Brady and his musical collaborator, Brandon McCoy, have already returned with another inspired take on the genre. This time Brady sets his sights on the night sky, a frequent subject for time-lapse nature videos, but with an extra twist: He bends space as well as time.
Regular time-lapse videos of the night sky are impressive enough, forcing us to picture how Earth spins through space by revealing a brisk parade of stars overhead. The best also blend earthbound elements into the foreground, juxtaposing our tiny planet against the yawning mystery of infinity.
Like most photography, though, such videos are usually limited to what a single camera can see. So to capture a broader view of Earth, and especially the vast space around it, Brady used a custom four-camera rig and fisheye lenses to film the entire night sky in motion. He then displayed this view in a variety of ways, from the opening scene of a star-trail fountain over Arches National Park to multiple uses of the "tiny planet" or "polar panorama" effect as well as its inverse, the "all-sky" effect.
The result, titled "Planetary Panoramas," is a hypnotic visual riff on our earthly view of space, revealing what the night sky might look like if you had eyes in the back of your head. "While experimenting with different photography tricks and techniques back in 2012, I was shooting 360-degree panoramas in the daytime and long exposures of the stars streaking in the sky at night," Brady explains on his website. "It suddenly became clear that the potential to combine the two techniques could be a trip!"
For more details about this video, and to see some of his other work, be sure to check out Brady's website. And keep an eye out for his next video, too, since it sounds like Brady and McCoy are just getting warmed up. "I moved to Michigan when I was 15 and Brandon was the first friend I made," Brady writes. "It has been a great experience watching each other grow as artists over the past 10 years, and you better believe we will be collaborating on projects like this in the very near future."
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