About the Film
Illusion of Lights introduces you to the concept of movement and time that visually explores our night skies. Beginning with the dazzling chaos of urban light pollution, the film takes you on a magnificent trip across pristine wilderness areas and shares with you the wonders of our night skies. With hundreds of thousands of gorgeous images produced especially for this project, Illusion of Lights gives you scene after scene of unique and detailed views from locations few will ever encounter. Fly over high altitude peaks, soar with the wind, and follow the Milky Way as it dances through the afterhours. From beyond the stars to beneath our feet, each time-lapsed sequence gives the viewer a visual narrative that attempts to communicate what the artist experiences each night in the field; natures expressions of human curiosity and ambition.
Brad Goldpaint spent 3 years of creative exploration crafting visual metaphors which reflect aspects of existence that are often hidden from everyday sight. We interact with these miracles on a daily basis yet we are amazed at the infinite magnitude of our planet. We encourage you to raise your eyes towards the night sky. Explore. Realize you are a part of the illusion and the universe is a part of you.
About UsIn 2013, Brad and Marci left their jobs to begin educating the public about the damaging effects of light pollution. They left the comforts of home to help reconnect people with the simple beauty of the night sky. The couple sold all their possessions to live in a motorhome while traveling throughout the Western United States, teaching photography workshops and gathering footage for “Illusion of Lights.” Brad spent countless nights traversing in the dark, carrying heavy camera equipment, and braving the dark unseen. Each filmed location presented unique challenges when confronted by lightning storms, dangerous winds, and up-close encounters with bears and other wildlife. Many times, after spending days hiking to a remote location and with optimistic weather reports, Mother Nature showed up and ruined Brad’s opportunity to get the shot. Persevering through countless attempts and with dedication to their work, Brad and Marci are proud to present you with their first trailer.
Why are you doing this?In 2009, Brad suffered the sudden loss of his mother and what he thought was meaningful work, drastically changed for him. He began to question his life and the direction he wanted to take with it. So in 2010, he decided to put on his backpack and experience Mother Nature’s pristine finest, allowing himself time for some deep introspection by hiking and photographing 1300 miles of the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT). The PCT is a wilderness hike that begins at the Mexico border near Campo, California and ends in Manning Park, British Columbia. Outdoor photography soon became a daily ritual of documenting and communicating his experiences. From capturing fields of wildflowers in the Mojave Desert to vast landscapes from some of the highest peaks on the John Muir Trail in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, it was through this experience that he fell in love with the night sky. After returning from the trail, he wanted to dedicate his work to sharing his images of the night sky with others.
What is light pollution?
Have you ever wondered why you can’t see the stars above you at night? If you happen to live in a metropolitan area, chances are most stars dancing above are blocked by light pollution. Light pollution is a term used to describe excessive and/or misdirected, artificial light that washes out the night sky. When I lived in Los Angeles, I was unable to count the stars at night because of cars packed on the roads, street and building lights working overtime, and billboards flashing blinding images. Light pollution is also causing further issues that are not so obvious. According to the program Globe at Night, “Scientists have determined that light pollution is not only blocking the stars, but is also interfering with astronomical research, disrupting ecosystems, wasting energy, and causing adverse health effects.” We encourage you to read more about light pollution by visiting the Globe at Night’s ‘What is Light Pollution’ page.
What can we do about light pollution?
TURN OFF ALL THE LIGHTS! Okay, we understand this is not realistic, but what if you made a few changes around your house? For example, start using fully shielded, dark-sky friendly fixtures, so lights shine down, not up. Directing light downward requires less illumination, which means less energy. Next, use lights only when needed. Installing timers, dimmer switches and turning lights off when not in use cuts light pollution and saves money. You can find more ideas at the International Dark Sky Association’s (IDA) ‘Take Action’ page. The best thing about light pollution is that it is reversible, and small changes you make can go a long way to improve our dark skies.
How many locations have you filmed?
Brad has filmed in over 7 National Parks, 4 National Forests, 5 State Parks, 3 Wilderness Areas, and much more.
When is the release date of the film?As of right now, we are hoping to release the film in 2017. We want to make sure we have time to capture all the locations on our bucket list before calling it a wrap. Think of it this way, we finished Phase 1 and there are at least 2 more phases to go. What is the next phase? Follow us on our social media pages or sign-up for our newsletter at the top of this page to find out.
How long have you been filming?Brad has been actively filming this project for the past 3 years. He began capturing footage in 2012 while working at an architectural firm in Oregon. He had access to beautiful wilderness areas that became the primary motivation for using his talent and educating the public about our disappearing dark skies. Brad and Marci chose to commit themselves full-time to this project and teaching workshops by leaving their jobs and travelling for a full year in a borrowed motorhome. They set out to find inspirational landscapes that would bring to life their passion in an entertaining and visual way.
What is time-lapse photography?Time-lapse is a photography technique used to capture multiple images throughout a long period of time and then converting those images into movie format. In this way, the viewer can visually experience in seconds what takes Mother Nature hours to complete. For example, in our film you see 30 images per second (30fps). In addition, many exposure times are 30 seconds long, which means it could take 30 full seconds to create one picture. Therefore, in a 5-second clip of the Milky Way, you are actually witnessing 150 consecutive images. If you do the math, it takes well over an hour of captured footage to produce one 5-second clip. See why this film is taking so long to create?
What camera equipment are you using?Brad is using a number of Canon and Nikon cameras and lenses; depending upon what he is capturing. Some lenses are used specifically for the night sky, while others are used for landscapes. He is also using the Kessler Crane TLS System and Second Shooter for motion controlled equipment.
What are the biggest challenges?Our biggest challenge is always Mother Nature. Many times, Brad hiked miles and miles to a location, only to get delayed or chased away by thunderstorms, lightening, overcast skies, or forest fires. Secondly, funding is an issue because this is an independent film with very few sponsors. Making a living on the road has been an exhaustive challenge thus far.
Who is sponsoring the film?We are incredibly grateful to have support from the following companies: Kessler Crane Inc. & Adobe. Without their support, this film would not be possible.
I want to learn how to capture the night sky!We get asked every day, “How can I learn to capture the Milky Way?” This is a big reason why Brad likes to teach. It seems that so many have a deep desire for capturing and experiencing the night sky first hand. Brad’s enthusiasm is evident in his work and this is why his workshops sell out very quickly once they are announced to the public. If you’re interested in joining him out in the field, visit our Night Sky Photography Workshops page for more info.
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