Time-lapse captures Chile’s stars as you’ve never seen before

New video from photographer Nicholas Buer showcases the Atacama Desert in all its glory through extensive time-lapse filming in the otherwordly landscape.

New time-lapse project by Nicholas Buer captures stunning Atacama sky. Photo by Nicholas Buer
New time-lapse project by Nicholas Buer captures stunning Atacama sky. Photo by Nicholas Buer

The latest project by landscape and astro-photographer Nicholas Buer, titled Ancients, showcases the brilliance of Chile’s unique Atacama Desert through stunning time-lapse filming.

“I have always had a passion for astronomy, gazing up at the night sky has always filled me with a sense of wonder,” Bauer told This is Chile. “The Southern Hemisphere has a very different sky; the milky way is stronger and brighter than in the North and this offers a fresh perspective for the viewer. The challenge and excitement of capturing the southern stars is what inspired me to travel to Chile.”

The short film is only two and a half minutes long, but it incorporates twelves days of filming, capturing sunset through sunrise and the breathtaking stars that pass through the night sky in between.

“’Ancients’ follows the cycle of sunset, to night, to sunrise. A continuous loop of perpetual movement that has been unbroken since the dawn of time,” Buer explained. “The title ‘Ancients’ is set to be reflective; a sentiment of simplicity. One that asks us to stop for a second and just be part of this cycle, slow down and just breathe, for we are privileged to be alive on this planet.”

The photographer told This is Chile the area’s unmatched landscapes and skies made the Andean nation’s vast desert an essential destination for any astronomy buff.

“I chose the Atacama because is well-known for what are arguably the cleanest, darkest skies on Earth. A testament to this is that many of the world’s top observatories are stationed there. The dry air adds an extra transparency and this coupled with the altitude creates a night sky like no other,” Buer commented. “This region of the Atacama is also very interesting geologically, so I knew this would make for some very interesting foreground subjects which are just as important as the stars when composing a successful shot.”

In the video, the breathtaking images of the Milky Way are seen passing through the night sky behind haunting trees, or reflecting in silent salt flats and lagoons. Shooting stars dash across the screen as the film records the impressive light show that is the vast space of our universe. Buer purposefully filmed during a new moon to ensure that the light of the billions of stars visible in the Atacama sky remained unobstructed by light closer to home.

Despite all his planning, however, even Buer was taken aback by the beauty of Chile’s Atacama.

“I had been told Chile was good for the stars but I had never seen or expected to see such clarity and definition; it was even better than the darkest skies I had seen when I visited Australia and was an overwhelming joyous experience for me,” Buer told This is Chile. “When you are sat under a canopy of stars so awe inspiringly beautiful as that, your worries just drift away into the signatures of light, and that is why we astrophotographers do it.”

Watch the video yourself and see a new view of the unforgettable Atacama Desert here.