This is one of the most arresting compilations of landscape and astrovideography we've seen in ages. Titled "Huelux," created by photographer Randy Halverson, the video plays like a greatest-hits reel of natural phenomena in South Dakota, Wyoming and Utah.
The whole thing is fantastic, but it was the scenes from the Mount Rushmore State – notably, the scene of a prairie windmill spinning against a backdrop of scintillating northern lights, an animation of which appears above* – that really blew us away. Halverson describes the project on his Vimeo page:
I shot Huelux from April-November 2013 in South Dakota, Wyoming and Utah. The weather in 2013 made it difficult for me to get some of the shots I wanted. There were many times I planned to shoot the Milky Way or Aurora, and the clouds would roll in. But that also allowed me to get more night storm timelapse than I have any other year.
I was in Utah for 6 nights, it was clear only one night, it was also 95F at midnight that night. So I couldn't shoot as high of an ISO as I wanted because of noise, but I still pulled off a few good shots in Zion Canyon.The weather was much the same while I was in Wyoming, it was cloudy 2/3 of the nights I was there. But I did get some of my best Milky Way shots of the year in Wyoming.
Some of the Aurora I shot were unexpected with no advanced notice. Several nights I was setting up Milky Way shots, when I noticed the glow in the sky to the north. In one case an hour before I got any Aurora notification on my phone. The storm shot at 2:57has Aurora behind it, which was quickly covered up by the storm.
For what it's worth, the storm shots are damn magnificent looking, themselves. Would love to see Halverson capture some supercells on film in the future.
*This image of the windmill against the prairie was also one of NASA's Astronomy Pictures of the Day back in October of last year, so we're clearly not the only ones moved by the shot.