How to shoot airplane astro timelapses

Shooting astro timelapse shots from an airplane is challenging but very rewarding. Hope you enjoy this tutorial!


In this tutorial I will explain how to shoot airplane astro timelapses. One of my favourite things to do on nightly flights is to shoot astro timelapses through the airplane window. Whenever I post these on social media people seem to lose their minds over them. The process of shooting them is extremely simple, you just need the right tools.

What do you need (check out the gear I used here):
– A camera with great ISO performance
– A ‘fast' lens (aperture 1.4 for example)
– A camera remote or intervalometer
– An airplane ticket for a night time flight
– A windowseat, ideally a whole row
– A camera ‘mount' (this can be your bag, a pillow etc)
– A Lensskirt to block cabin reflections

Airplane astro timelapse kit by @Matjoez
How to shoot an airplane astro hyperlapse:

Mount your camera as close to the window as possible making sure it doesn't touch it. The plane's vibrations will ruin your shots.
Frame up your composition and attach the lensskirt to block out cabin reflections.
Set up your exposure and make sure you're shooting RAW photos. My settings were something like 3 seconds, iso 16000, f1.4.
Set up your remote so it triggers with a small gap between photos, my interval was 4 seconds so a 1 second gap between shots.
Fire off a few test shots and then start the sequence.
I always shoot at least 250 photos, at 25fps this gives you 10 seconds of video footage.

How to post process an airplane astro hyperlapse:

Offload photos on a hard drive.
Import the hard drive content into Lightroom using the ‘Add' import method.
Colour grade your RAW photos and save your metadata. This creates a little metadata file that contains your colour edits.
Import the sequence in After Effects, AE will recognise the edit you did thanks to the metadata file.
Create a composition and add any other effect or grade you want.
Export to a video file and post on social media to get tons of likes yeeeew.

Thanks for reading make sure to check out the links below!

Click here to check out the Adobe software I use to edit these shots

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