“Temporal Distortion” will distort your mind – DakotaLapse’s latest HDSLR timelapse

by planetmitch3 Comments

I had the pleasure to meet Randy Halverson (who goes by the name DakotaLapse) at the chronos festival where he won Best Overall and Audience Choice. When you watch this, you'll know why!

And, the soundtrack was written especially for Randy by Bear McCreary who wrote the music for TV shows Battlestar Galactica, Eureka and The Walking Dead!

UPDATE 10pm Bear McCreary has posted his own update on how he wrote the score. Very interesting!

Randy lives in the state of South Dakota – hence the nickname and used a Canon EOS 5D Mark II and Canon EOS 60D to make this amazing timelapse.

One interesting thing about this version is that Randy's putting it up for digital download. For $5 you can have the short version, but for $10, you can buy an extended 23 minute long one! I've seen the long version and it is worth the download (I'm getting nothing to say that but I may be biased because I do like Randy and his wife HA).

A clarifying note about the two versions – I noticed there was a different set of music on the long version so I asked Randy to clarify:

Bear only scored the 4 minute video. They were edited independently. I made a 4 minute video with my clips, sent that to Bear. Then I made the 23 minute and sent that to Simon Wilkinson who scored that long version.

If you like what you see, you'll love it in 720p full download – help support Randy with a purchase!

Temporal Distortion

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Bonus – behind the scenes!

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This is a quick behind the scenes shot from my upcoming release. The first shot is from a T2i on a tripod, it is shooting the 60D on a dolly, which is shooting the 5D Mark II on a dolly, which is shooting the Milky Way and round bales.

I intended to cover the led on the 5D with tape, but forgot too. I like the lens flare effect it gives though.

The foreground is lit with a Coleman led lantern.

Randy's Description

What you see is real, but you can't see it this way with the naked eye. It is the result of 20-30 second exposures, edited together over many hours to produce the timelapse. This allows you to see the Milky Way, Aurora and other Phenonmena, in a way you wouldn't normally see them.

In the opening “Dakotalapse” title shot, you see bands of red and green moving across the sky. After asking several Astronomers, they are possible nonleticulent clouds, airglow or faint Aurora. I never got a definite answer to what it is. You can also see the red and green bands in other shots.

At :53 and 2:17 seconds into the video you see a Meteor with a Persistent Train. Which is ionizing gases, which lasted over a half hour in the cameras frame. Phil Plait wrote an article about the phenomena here.

There is a second Meteor with a much shorter persistent train at 2:51 in the video. This one wasn't backlit by the moon like the first, and moves out of the frame quickly.

The Aurora were shot in central South Dakota in September 2011 and near Madison, Wisconsin on October 25, 2011.

Watch for two Deer at 1:27

Most of the video was shot near the White River in central South Dakota during September and October 2011, there are other shots from Arches National Park in Utah, and Canyon of the Ancients area of Colorado during June 2011.

Equipment Used
Thanks to Dynamic Perception for their support and for making the Stage Zero Dolly. dynamicperception.com The best dolly made in many ways!

Canon 5D Mark II and Canon 60D
Canon 16-35, Tokina 11-16

Shot in RAW format. Manual mode, Exposure was 30 seconds on most Milky Way shots, 15-30 seconds on Aurora. ISO 1600 – 6400 F2.8.

Production Assistants – River Halverson and Kelly McIlhone

Opening title by Gus Winkelman // Winkelmedia LLC // Contact [email protected] for creative solutions

Some photos

Behind the scenes of Temporal Distortion

Behind the scenes of Temporal Distortion

DP Stage Zero Dolly along White River in SD

DP Stage Zero Dolly along White River in SD

(cover photo credit: snap from Randy Halverson)


  1. Any thoughts of being alone in the Cosmos vanishes with these brilliant images. What a treat. Eye candy which pokes your heart and soul……

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