The footage for this short film of the rising Super Moon in Arches National Park was captured on a memorable spring visit to the park two years ago, at the height of the pandemic shutdowns. Emotionally drained and isolated by the global pandemic, thousands of people packed the park to its breaking point to witness this awesome natural display amid the quiet beauty of the desert. Much like the faithful making a pilgrimage to their sacred sanctuary, the crowds seemed to sense, if only for a brief moment, the profound and dynamic mystery of the natural world in motion. Yet after the glowing moon had climbed to the top of the sky, casting it’s magical light across the desert floor, the crowds suddenly vanished and a great silence began to take hold in the cold night air, revealing the desert in it’s native, impassive form. So it seemed just right that it was Cassiopeia rising in the night sky, who had angered Poseidon with her vanity and self-absorption, and whose fate was to float upside down among the constellations, admiring herself in her own mirror and unable to see or feel the grandeur and majesty of the heavens.
The time-lapse footage of the Rise of the Super Moon was captured using the Leicina Super RT 8mm camera and Intervalometer, and was shot on Kodak Ektachrome Super 8mm reversal movie film. The Leicina has a fully adjustable shutter speed and time interval, plus automatic exposure control, making it capable of obtaining images in very low light. The moon rising was captured with 1/60 second exposures, every five seconds, with automatic exposure control. The constellation rising into the night sky was captured with 30 second exposures, once every minute, with a fully open Variagon lens (f1.9) in a set-up that took nine hours to complete. The camera footage is then processed and transferred into the ProRes High Definition digital format, and edited in Sony Vegas Pro. For these two shots, each of the two thousand individual frames was retouched by hand to get the cleanest and most consistent final footage possible. To see the Leicina set-up at the Arches site please visit this page: Time-Lapse Cinematography