With the advance of digital imaging and the means to distribute content, it is no longer a challenge to shoot “conventional” night photographs or even do a sequence / a time-lapse. Soon, even a phone will be able to expose at 30s, after all it is called night photo and not “ThirtySecondoGraphy” or “HighISOgraphy.” Day after day most of the night photographs are becoming worthless of seeing, as most of them are already pointless.

A Timelapse Video by Alexy Joffre FrangiehNature’s Dance. In this awe-inspiring timelapse video, photographer and film maker Alexy Joffre Frangieh shows us the poetry of the magnificent Makmel Mountains in North Lebanon using a Nikon D3, AF-NIKKOR 28 1.4 D, AF-S NIKKOR 14-24mm F2.8G ED, and AF Fisheye NIKKOR 16mm f/2.8D.To see more of Alexy’s stunning work, please check out his website: http://alexfr.net/Explore the wonders you can create with your Nikon DSLR: http://bit.ly/1LRBEOy#NikonMEA #NikonNoFilter

Posted by Nikon on Monday, April 4, 2016

Here are some of personal approach for shooting night and especially night time-lapses:

1-You can shoot few nice trees without having to shoot the whole forest:
Most of the times few stars in the sky are more complementing than the full star field, thus there is nothing wrong with shooting on a partially moonlit night instead of those too dark nights. You don’t have to grasp most of the sky in one photograph or a panorama, many details of the star field are just mind blowing. Bottom line, don’t make your widest lens as your top priority. (There nothing offensive to shoot at 5 or 10 seconds, or use a lens longer than 50mm.)

2-Even if it is called the “Milky Way” you don’t have to “milk” it all:
Treat the Milky Way or even the Aurora Borealis as background props and never as a subject by themselves. Few years ago they were unique to photograph but nowadays they are subjects for even most basic cameras’ demo.

3-Fades are more dramatic than transitions:
When doing a time-lapse, many people and mostly beginners are obsessed of doing day to night transitions. One should recur to this procedure ONLY IF NEEDED, and it ranges in difficulty from a piece of cake to a summersault. For instance, a nice fading to black after sunset or a Dawn washing out into white is nicer.

4-Mind for the colors, compositions as commonly misunderstood are kids play:
Bragging about composition is like a Facebook user considering himself a computer geek. Actually composition is something innate and felt and not something the upper brain thinks about. Mind being creative in selecting the timings and the available light, even make a good use of the unavoidable light pollution. Most non-pure-black skies are much nicer too. The moonlight and the passing clouds are there to accentuate the charm of the night in our planet.

5-Plan, Plan and Plan:
The simplest and most captivating photographs are actually very complex in the making. With respect, to me, if any work or output does not look “simple” that means it is not yet achieved or finished; I personally believe that real complexity is culminated by a “simplistic” result.

Take your time planning your scene in terms of timing. Perhaps, you’ll have to be at one scene and skip shooting for many times. It is about understanding and having patience without being delinquent. After all it is about the joy doing and not always about what is to be done. A nice scenery for a single photograph is not consequently a nice sequence, time lapse is about the motion in the scene and not the scene itself.

A useful article on planning night shooting – PopPhoto

The Noct-Nikkor 58 1.2, and the AF-Nikkor 28 1.4 D are two lenses capable of turning a Nikon D4, D5…D20 into only the most sophisticated back lens caps ever made. More about those two galactic glasses by Ken Rockwell:

A 5 minutes exposure with a 400mm lens, pointed at a slightly light polluted zone to make use of available color

No stacking, just a 15 minutes exposure
No stacking, just a 15 minutes exposure

A 15 minutes exposure, actually this capture was inteded to be a test for “reciprocity” (if any in digital) and for checking for any dead or hot pixels on the sensor (Nikon D3, 2010)


An elaborately planned scene that actually turned out into a real fiasco. On every experiment there is something new to learn and add to future calculations. The conclusion of that cold night: the Moon shadows do not move as boldly as these of the Sun.

A general showreel of footages taken from year 2004 till 2008, released in 2009 (this version is recently uploaded in full HD)

A carefully planned moonrise time-lapse, the full moon is way lovelier when it rises a bit after sunset.

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