Timelapse – Abandoned Ghost Town at Dorothy, Alberta

Posted by in Photography, Photography: Timelapse | July 24, 2013

Dorothy, Alberta… What can I say?! I’ve been here a few times in the past and it’s always been a great time. How was this trip different? Well there’s no better time to visit an abandoned ghost town then in the middle of the night, so that’s what we did! Making sure we made this trip different we didn’t arrive until 11:00pm, trying to sneak in and catch those “ghost’s” by surprise (more on that later). Instead of heading directly toward the abandoned church’s, we decided to work our way over. Starting at the old decrepit grain elevator I started my timelapse. What we thought was going to be a clear sky turned for the worse. I was lucky enough to capture some great storm clouds rolling in over the area.

While my timelapse clicked away the others decided to do some light painting. I for one was sick of watching the timelapse dolly move a half inch per minute so I grabbed a flashlight and stood in front of the lens of my friends camera’s. One would think light painting is easy, well it’s not. Not only do you have to write backwards you also have to remember where the imaginary lines have already been placed. I quickly discovered I’m no pro on the light painting side of the spectrum, I guess I’ll stick to queuing up my timelapse dolly!

Christine on the other hand seamed to have a natural talent. Here’s my name in light painting, drawn by Christine and captured by Francis from FYM Photography. Other than spelling my last name wrong she did a wonderful job! Thanks for coming along and showing me up!


Well enough of getting shown up, it’s time to return to something I know I’m fairly decent at 🙂 Timelapse! As usual, this is shown in full HD for your viewing pleasure! Hit play, make it full screen, then click the gear icon and choose 1080p. It’s a million times better!

After letting the camera shutter click away for a little over an hour I moved towards the abandoned church’s… Are they haunted? Well, I cant say for certain but I can say they are creepy as hell. Especially in the early morning hours.

Jeff haunting the ghost town Dorothy

Now back to this haunting thing… As Francis composed his shot getting the perfect exposure was key especially since we saw a ghost right there in plain site. Peering out through the window giving us the “GET OUT” death stair! Don’t believe me? Check out this image captured by Francis, if that’s not a ghost then I don’t know what is…


Hey wait a second… That looks an awful lot like me? Hahah, Yeah, it is… I had the bright idea of going inside to explore. It was pretty neat making this photo but I must say, being inside this abandoned church at 1:00am is big time creepy. There were weird noises, funky energy, and distant kids screaming (from a nearby campsite). All in all it was great and yes, I enjoyed myself!

The “Real” ghosts on the other hand, they wanted us out. Literally minutes after playing around and simulating the haunting the weather turned for the worse. The wind picked up, the lightning was crazy and firmly planted signs were falling over. Time to leave, the spirits have spoken.

What I Learned For Next Time

  • Increase the ISO:
    Shooting a timelapse of fast moving clouds at night has taught my to bump the ISO setting way up. Using a 30 second exposure is just way to long, this put my interval around 35 seconds which made the clouds move to fast for my liking.
  • Don’t mock the ghost’s:
    This just pisses them off, in the end they decided to ruin our all night adventure with a wicked storm. I guess they had the final laugh!

Final Destination

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