Badwater sunset timestack

Photo: John Fowler/Flickr

In this stunning timestack image by photographer John Fowler, a surreal sunset sweeps across the sky above Badwater Basin in Death Valley National Park.

Timestacks are exactly what they sound like. Multiple photographs taken over a period of time are layered together and blended to produce a single image. The magic behind this lovely effect is the same for making star trails, which are gorgeous astrophotographs that capture the perceived movement of the stars in the night sky.

In the case of the shot above, Fowler created the image using 800 individual shots taken 5 seconds apart. After assembling them with a star trails program called StarStaX, he added some finishing touches and tweaks in Photoshop.

To learn how to stack your own photos, check out the handy tutorial video below, which was put together by seasoned photographer Matt Molloy:

For more in-depth instructions, be sure to read Molloy's detailed timestacking tutorial on the 500px blog. Happy stacking!

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Catie Leary is a photo editor at Mother Nature Network. Follow her on Twitter and Google+.

Catie Leary ( @catieleary ) writes about science, travel, animals and the arts.

The art of stacking time: Prismatic sunset photo created from hundreds of images
You've never seen Death Valley quite like this! Photographer uses timestacking to create this spectacular time-lapsed desert sunset.