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Comet NEOWISE timelapse over Lake Sonoma, California

Comet #NEOWISE (C/2020 F3) timelapse. Lake Sonoma, California, July 22, 2020.

On Wednesday night, I set up a second camera and tripod before I could see Comet NEOWISE in the sky, and just let it run. When I could finally see it showing up in the camera, OOPS--I was zoomed in too much! It appeared in the sky higher than I thought it would be. I reframed the camera (throwing away 300 frames), and started it up again. 102 minutes (and 1013 frames) later, we were done shooting for the night. I'm pretty happy with the results, although there is a minor jump at one point in the video because my camera's battery was exausted, and it took me 51 seconds to notice and replace it.

Shot with Sony a7r II, 24-70 f/2.8 lens @ 29mm, from 9:23pm until 11:05pm (102 minutes). Aperture priority until darkness, after which I switched to manual exposure per frame: 4 sec @ f/2.8, ISO 3200.

This one turned out to be much more difficult to post-process than other timelapses I've done. I shot wide open on the lens, so aperture wasn't varying per shot (normally, we stop down in a depth-of-field preview and unscrew the lens a bit to lock the aperture in place). My Canon bodies were always fairly consistent in manual exposures--good enough for LRTimelapse to deflicker effectively. This older Sony body didn't expose as consistently, and in addition to using LRTimelapse, I had to run it through Digital Anarchy's Flicker Free plugin. I also used Neat Video to denoise. Final video is 6K (6144 x 3456). Although each source frame is 7952x5304, I didn't think it would hold up at 8K.

Music: The Lonely Night (Moby's January 14 Remix) by Moby, courtesy of