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slickwilly182's avatar

Star Trails

First ever star trail photo!

Details of this shot:
- 1 exposure for the foreground @ 12mm, f4, ISO 400, for 30 seconds with some light painted with my headlamp on the shed.
- 72 photos shot continuous after that with the same settings, minus the light painting. For a total of 1 1/2 hours of shooting.
- 1 shot with lens cap... on for a totally black shot to be used later.

72 photos and black shot loaded into a program appropriately called "Startrails" After building the photo, loaded into photoshop CS3 to mask in the light painted shed exposure.

A few tips and things to remember for me next time.
1. Turn off long image noise reduction if using this method, if you zoom in on the photo you can see spaces inbetween the trails. Using the pure black exposure takes care of noise reduction.
2. Explore areas before dark!
3. Would have liked to have shot this at a different angle so that the roof peak pointed directly at the north star. There was a refinery behind the barn on the right, on the left there was a cell phone tower behind the barn, and farther left out of the frame, some farmhouses.
4. Get a remote that locks! It was a lot of trouble to keep pressing the button on the remote after every exposure for an hour and a half.

A nice little treat was while exposing the 30 second images and sitting in the field behind my camera, the northern lights made a faint appearance which captured really well.

If I can shrink the file size of the video I made with these shots, I will upload that as well. Right now it is at 170MB
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© 2010 - 2021 slickwilly182
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danUK86's avatar
fantastic shot :)
MrSandmanGR's avatar
Great, great, great!
slickwilly182's avatar
Glad you like it, thanks! :)
NicolasAlexanderOtto's avatar
Is the video still somewhere to be found? :P

Great shot mate, I really like the fact that you also captured some northern lights. :P
slickwilly182's avatar
Hmm, I will have to take a look for the vid.
planetwaves's avatar
Verrrrry nice. I tried my first startrails photo tonight. I wasn't aware of the 'stacking' procedure of taking hundreds of 30 second exposures or the software that can be used (although I'm a Mac user), so I went for a long exposure, had a sandwich and listened to some Miles Davis out of the cold damp hilltop.
I have a wireless remote release but for some reason the exposure stopped itself after 35 minutes on my D700, I have no idea why as the battery was fine, the memory card had space. I had the long exp. noise reduction tuned on and had to wait another 35 minutes to see a result. There was about an inch of movement per star and I had pointed it at the North so had a nice circular pattern, not a bad result for a first effort but a lot to read up on and improve. Its quite fun and interesting! Hopefully my shots will improve to your amazing standard. Keep up the good work and fair play to you for sharing your tips and experience with others.
slickwilly182's avatar
It definitely is a little different then regular landscape shots! A lot of fun though.
fazz1977's avatar
sevenths's avatar
asoulforallanimes's avatar
asoulforallanimes's avatar
db-imagery's avatar
awesome first try!..i just started these myself(feel free to stop by my gallery to see my first tries:))..some good advice about surveying your spot first..definately helps!..good luck w/the future shots!
slickwilly182's avatar
thanks, i posted a few more shots as well!
db-imagery's avatar
right on!..i'll check em' in a few..
Akulatraxas's avatar
Unbelievable stamina. Respect!
slickwilly182's avatar
thanks! next time i will be smarter though :)
slickwilly182's avatar
cool, thank you very much!
MsDulcet's avatar
Excellent image! Very well done!
slickwilly182's avatar
thank you very much :)
pulvertoastmann's avatar
Very nice, wouldn't have guessed it was your first startrail shot.
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