Category Archives: Still Photos

Trails End UHD 4K Time Lapse

Trails End is a compilation of some of my favorite timelapse shots from 2014, with a few Aurora shots from early this year. On many of the locations, I used my Palomino SS-1251 truck camper from Cheyenne Camper Center, often ending up near the end of some remote trail.  It was shot in Wyoming, Utah and South Dakota. You can see the rest of the 100+ full length sequences, on the 30+ minute “Trails End” feature, which you can download here or the link below. Available in 4K UHD, up to 4096 X 2304, for licensing. 2016 Badlands Night Sky Workshop schedule


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Canyonlands Utah Sunset
Canyonlands Utah Sunset


Some events to watch for:

The slower moving light streaks are airplanes, the fast ones are satellites. I also caught many meteors which are only 1 frame or 1/24th of a second on the timelapse.
:56 Bolide Meteor
1:01 Aurora at Devils Tower and throughout video
1:33 Two Bolide Meteors
Meteors With Persistent Trains 2:29 very fast and short persistent train to right of the Milky Way, a better one at 3:20
2:43 Final Boost Stage of GSSAP and ANGELS satellites
 2:55 Owl sitting in tree
3:00 Pink Aurora in the sand dunes of Wyoming’s Red Desert
3:14 Sprites and Gravity Waves


South Dakota Aurora
South Dakota Aurora


Photography and Editing – Randy Halverson
Production Assistants – River Halverson
Opening Title graphics – Luke Arens
Music – “The Last Stand” licensed from Audiojungle
Title and Credit Music – Simon Wilkinson at

Palomino Truck Camper
Palomino Truck Camper

Cheyenne Camping Center – They gave me a great deal on a Palomino Palomino SS-1251 camper which worked great, they also have a great service department.

Dynamic Perception – The Stage Zero and Stage One dollies were used in many of the shots. I can’t recommend them enough for a quality product at a low price.

eMotimo – Great pan and tilt motion control. This will also mount on the Dynamic Perception Dollies. See more about the eMotimo TB3’s on my website.

Camera Gear Used

2 Canon 5D Mark III’s
1 Canon 6D
Nikon D810

Nikon 14-24
Rokinon 35
Canon 16-35
Zeiss 21
Sigma 15mm Fisheye
Sigma 8mm Fisheye
Canon 200mm
Canon 70-300

Contact for licensing footage, shooting rates or anything else.
Randy Halverson




Sprites, Gravity Waves, Airglow and Aurora






On August 20th, 2014 I timelapsed a storm over central South Dakota with multiple cameras. I left for Wyoming without looking at most of the frames. I saw a post by Tom Warner about Sprites he caught on the same storm. Sprites are large scale electrical discharges that occur high above clouds.

When I got back I went through the frames and found 7 with Sprites in them. I didn’t post 2 of them because they are very faint. The Sprites are only 1 frame each, so they will be a quick flash of red near the right side above the storm. The green Airglow is rippled by Gravity Waves, (gravity waves are not the same as gravitational waves) some faint Aurora moves in towards the end of the sequences, on the right side before the clouds cover it up. Thanks to Tom Warner and Dr. Walter Lyons for helping me identify Gravity Waves in my shots. Dr. Lyons also shared a link that will help identify which storms may have Sprites. Look for a large red cross on the map.

See the timelapse of the storm below, and more images in the gallery.

Sprites, Gravity Waves and Airglow from Randy Halverson on Vimeo.

Music By Simon Wilkinson


The Sprites are the red discharges above the storm on the right side. The gravity waves are the ripples you see in the airglow.

Sprite with Airglow and Gravity Waves over South Dakota
Sprite with Airglow and Gravity Waves over South Dakota


Sprite with Airglow and Gravity Waves over South Dakota
Sprite with Airglow and Gravity Waves over South Dakota



Gallery of Sprites and Gravity Waves – Click to enlarge.



Badlands Night Sky Workshop

Night Sky Workshop by Randy Halverson

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Date – August 22-24, 2014 – Badlands National Park, South Dakota

This workshop is over, but I can still give private workshops. Contact me if interested.

Class size limit – 6 Students

Badlands National Park features a rugged landscape and dark skies. In August, the summer traffic has died down, the nights are longer, and the Milky Way will be visible as soon as it is dark (9PM), making it a great time to shoot the Milky Way. We will take short hikes into the formations and capture the night sky. During the night we will shoot 2-3 different locations, with me giving instructions throughout the night. This workshop will focus on still photography, with some timelapse basics thrown in.

Huelux from Randy Halverson on Vimeo.


What is covered in the workshop:
Night sky overview
Scouting locations
Moon Phases
Camera settings
Sunset Photography
Night Still Photography
Timelapse basics
Lighting the foreground
High ISO tips and noise reduction
Focusing at night
Weather and shooting tips
Post processing

Gear Required
DSLR with wide angle lens, f2.8 or better. You can rent if necessary.
Solid tripod
Memory cards and extra batteries
Headlight and small flashlight
For Post Processing – Laptop with Adobe Lightroom for still processing. LR Timelapse for timelapse post processing of individual clips.

Cost – $1050 per person, limit 6 students in the workshop. South Dakota sales tax included in price. 50% deposit of $525 required to hold spot. The remainder is due by June 22, 2014.

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Workshop Overview

August 22 and 23
Meet at first location 2 hours before sunset. Go over shooting sunset and night setup.
Shoot Sunset
Setup for night shoot
Night Shoot – 2-3 locations throughout the night, ends at 2-3AM

August 24
Meet at 12PM to cover post processing – 4 hours
Night shoot if we were clouded or rained out on any of the first 2 nights.

Schedule changes are possible due to the weather. For example if it looks like it will be 100% cloud cover on the 23rd, we may shoot sunset but not the night. We would then shoot on the night of the 24th.

Getting there
If you are flying, Rapid City Regional Airport is the closest to the Badlands. Car rental is also available there.

What is not provided or covered.
Park entrance fee.
Meals/Snacks – You may want to eat an early dinner before we shoot. Bring snacks or anything else you may need with you.

Cedar Pass Lodge has cabins and camping in the park. The next best lodging is in Wall, SD. Rapid City, SD has more hotel options and is a 45 minute drive from Wall. The post processing on the 24th will be held in a meeting room in Rapid City.

Additional Information:
A commercial use permit is required to hold workshops in any national park, I have a permit for Badlands National Park. I can not guarantee clear skies, but have scheduled an additional night of shooting, should one of the nights be rainy. We will try to shoot no matter what the cloud cover is. In long exposures, often the stars are still visible through thin clouds, even though it appears cloudy. If it looks like it will only be clear the first night, we may want to shoot all night that night.

Refund Policy and Conditions:
I am unable to give refunds due to weather. Deposits are non refundable, but for cancellations done within 60 days of the date, the remainder of payment will be refunded. If you cancel less than 60 days from the date of the workshop, a refund will not be given unless your spot can be filled. Dakotalapse, LLC is not responsible for any costs you incur during or travelling to or from the workshop. In the unlikely event the workshop is cancelled, Dakotalapse, LLC is not responsible for travel costs you incur.

If you have any questions about the workshop, email Randy Halverson

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Meteor or Satellite?




These 2 timelapse frames are from my latest timelapse “Huelux”. Go to 3:20 in the video to see the timelapse.

A bright Satellite flash or Iridium flare, can sometimes look like a meteor in a long exposure star photo. If you are shooting timelapse, it is easy to distinguish between a meteor or satellite flash in the frames. Most meteors enter the atmosphere at 25,000 mph or faster, and burn up relatively fast at a much lower altitude than satellites.

If you are shooting a 30 second exposure with a 3 second interval, the meteor would have to be burning up for at least 34 seconds for it to show up in 2 consecutive frames. I have caught dozens of meteors in timelapse frames and seen many with my own eyes. The longest I have seen with my own eyes has lasted maybe 3 seconds. Satellites are moving much slower than meteors and are much higher, so they take longer to travel across the sky. So they will always be visible, even a faint trail, in 2 or more frames, if they are within the frame. Satellites are an important part of our exploration of space and they are put together with incredibly detailed technology and equipment like transmitters, solar panels, LVDT’s (you can look here for more information on this), to name a few, so to see one traveling across the sky at night is a sight to behold and we can only hope that it is not falling or breaking down.

In these two consecutive frames, you will see the bolide Meteor in the lower center, and a Satellite in the upper left, and another one to the right of the Milky Way core. This was 25 second exposures with a 3 second interval between the two photos. Click image to enlarge.

Meteor and Satellites
Meteor and Satellites

The Meteor is gone from the following frame, because it was travelling so fast and burned up, both satellites still have a trail. I think it also missed a bright part of the flare on the upper left Satellite, during the 3 second interval between shots. Some satellites will show up in 5 or more frames and will take minutes to cross the sky. Click image to enlarge.

Satellite trails
Satellite trails

Dakotalapse 2013 Top Photos




10 of my favorite stills from 2013. Most of these were taken from timelapse. Click arrows to navigate, click on photo to enlarge. Some of these are available as prints here.

See other stills from 2013 on this page.

Horizons Teaser

A few short clips from my upcoming timelapse film titled Horizons. The online short will feature an original score by Bear McCreary. 

There will also be an extended cut, available for download at

Music is “Nebula Drift” by Simon Wilkinson

Dynamic Perception dollies

Meteor, Lightning and the Milky Way




While editing timelapse I shot July 2012, I noticed a meteor in a frame. I caught it on 2 Canon 5D Mark III cameras. Last July, I posted a photo of the lightning and Milky Way, but missed the meteor. Phil Plait wrote about that photo last July.

Meteor with Canon 14mm on 5D Mark III Cropped from 14mm
Meteor with Canon 14mm on 5D Mark III Cropped from 14mm

I also caught it on a second camera, with a 25mm Zeiss F2.0 lens.

Meteor, Lightning and the Milky Way with Zeiss 25mm F2.0
Meteor, Lightning and the Milky Way with Zeiss 25mm F2.0


Print or Gallery Wrap, is available of the second photo here.

I borrowed both of the lenses from, who is also a sponsor for my next timelapse video, that will be coming out this winter.

2012 – Favorite Photos

Some of my favorites from shooting timelapse in 2012. These were all frames from a timelapse. The timelapse will be out this winter.

Click on Photos to Enlarge

July storm and Milky Way in central South Dakota
July storm and Milky Way in central South Dakota


Near and Far – Frame from lightning timelapse in May 2012
Near and Far – Frame from lightning timelapse in May 2012
Late April Aurora in Badlands National Park
Late April Aurora in Badlands National Park


June Milky Way at Devils Tower in Wyoming.
June Milky Way at Devils Tower in Wyoming.
A crescent Moon sets under the Milky Way in SD.
A crescent Moon sets under the Milky Way in SD.
Meteor with persistent train – October 2012. One year earlier, I captured the same phenomena, in the same spot.
Meteor with persistent train – October 2012. One year earlier, I captured the same phenomena, in the same spot.
Aurora reflects off a pond in South Dakota.
Aurora reflects off a pond in South Dakota.
Sunset on the White River in South Dakota.
Sunset on the White River in South Dakota.
Late June Milky Way in Custer State Park of SD.
Late June Milky Way in Custer State Park of SD.
July sunset in South Dakota.
July sunset in South Dakota.
The Milky Way turns out better on some nights, this was one of them.
The Milky Way turns out better on some nights, this was one of them.