Last summer my friend Paul had been across and we had hatched a plan to shot some time lapse and night streak shots of SFO from a hill that overlooks the airport. The plan seemed like a good one but it was thwarted by two things. First, there was some cloud in the area which obscured some fo the view. Second, it doesn’t get dark until late in the summer and Paul was on UK time so was pretty worn out by the time we could do anything.
Instead, we concluded that a second attempt would be made when he was over during the winter. So it was that we found ourselves back up on the hill. We had come well prepared this time with sturdy tripods and good cable releases. The only thing I had forgotten was the chairs since you have a lot of time to hang around on a dark hillside taking shots like this. I took a long sequence of shots that would be edited into the time lapse. When I got home, some quick work in LRTimelapse and the video was together as you can see below. I also decided to see how well the sequence would blend together to get a streak image. I have never tried to work with quite so many layers in Photoshop before. It certainly struggled with it but it did work. Unfortunately, there must have been some very slight movement on the tripod because the ground lights did not exactly align which made for a blurry foreground when using the Lighten blend mode. To counter this, I duplicated one of the base layers and masked that back in to give the ground a clearer image. The blended version is the one at the top of the post.