Around 2011, Gordon began experimenting with frame-based photography like stop-motion (manually) and time-lapse (with the help of an early iPhone app). Time-lapse photography became even more accessible in 2014 when two big things happened – iPhones could perform time-lapses out of the box, and Brianna bought Gordon an intervalometer, which made such type of photography easier on DSLR cameras, too.

The latter also opened up an area that phones couldn’t pull off – time-lapses in astrophotography, particularly star trails.

There was one big problem with attempting astrophotography in general in New York City. This is what light pollution looks like on the East Coast.

Light Pollution Eastern US

Stargazers are pretty royally screwed. Gordon had no better luck finding a star trails opportunity in more rural parts upstate or out of state either.

The Bay Area is not much better, where you’re still fighting high levels of light pollution or frequent fog and cloud cover late at night.


Gordon moved back to the Bay Area over the summer of 2016, just in time for the local summer. These are his first star trails, taken with a starter DSLR kit lens and the intervalometer. The frames are 30 second exposures spaced 2 seconds apart, spanning about 50 minutes (condensation and a fogged up lens started to form after around 35-40 minutes, blocking out all the stars).


This is pointed northeast towards the constellation Taurus.

Star Trails 2016-09-04 Annotated