Aurora Borealis Time-Lapse Movie

Watching the Aurora Borealis dance across the night sky is an amazing experience. I have been fortunate enough to lead two Northern Lights Photography Workshops over the past couple of winters alongside my good friend Dr. Jim Halfpenny. I do not get to shoot a lot of photos while we are teaching so I have been learning to shoot time-lapse sequences. Often, I set my cameras up to shoot continuously and then I walk away hoping that I aimed them at the right part of the sky.

Click the Full Screen icon in the far right-hand corner of the video play bar to watch this tutorial in 1080p HD.
Music: “Aurora” (Light Vocal) by Joseph Rusnak
Licensed from

This short movie is made from thousands of digital camera raw files that were captured either with a Canon 5D Mk III or a Canon 7D. Processing each sequence in this video, and then compiling all of the clips together, has taken me months but I am delighted with the results. A strong auroral display is a magnificent enchanting experience and time-lapse does a great job capturing the way that the Northern Lights continually shift and change throughout the night.

Each sequence was processed using Adobe Photoshop Lightroom and then converted to a video clip using the fantastic LRTimelapse software. Ultimately, the clips were compiled together and finalized using Adobe Premiere CC.

My thanks to all the wonderful photographers who have made the long journey up to Churchill with me on the hopes that the skies will clear and the lights will shine. An enormous thank you to the wonderful staff and volunteers at the Churchill Northern Studies Centre for keeping us warm and happy. Most of all, a huge thank you to Jim Halfpenny for organizing and leading such wonderful expeditions to the far north.

About the Author
David Marx specializes in landscape, travel, mobile, and night photography. He is an Adobe Certified Expert in both Adobe Photoshop Lightroom and Adobe Photoshop CC with more than 15 years of experience in the field teaching digital photography. David loves sharing his knowledge with others, whether in person or online, and his entertaining teaching style works well for photographers of all skill levels. In addition to field workshops, David’s extensive library of video tutorials on image processing and mobile photography are available at