Star Trails

It’s late. After midnight. I just finished some star trails photography that I began later than I should have. I’ve tried this before with little success, so after some more research I thought I’d give it another shot. All the images below are multiple 30 second exposures stacked on top of each other. The big key to this, which I recently learned, was to turn off the in camera noise reduction basically allowing the camera to immediately start taking a second exposure while the first one is being written to the SD card. This means that there is minimal time in which the shutter is closed and therefore, no gaps in the star trails.

This was just supposed to be an experiment, giving little thought to light painting the foreground or composition. That will be for another night. The lighted tree is from the headlights of a passing car. I wanted to get a sense of how long the star trails were given a set exposure time. Below are 3 examples using the same photos. The first was using 100 x 30 second exposures for a 50 minutes of trails, and the next two were halved then halved again, so 25 minutes and 12 1/2 minutes respectively. Click on the image to enlarge.

18mm; F4.5; 100x30s; ISO 200

18mm; F4.5; 50x30s; ISO 200

18mm; F4.5; 25x30s; ISO 200

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4 thoughts on “Star Trails

  1. Nice work man. I too have had little success shooting trails – though I haven’t given it much of a try lately. We’ll have to discuss how this all works sometime soon. Love the first one the most.

    • Thanks Mikey. I set it up, pressed and locked the shutter on continuous 30 second exposures then went inside and watched tv for an hour. My camera can only take 100 continuous shots. If I was outside when it hit 100 I could have quickly released the lock and re-engaged it for another 100 shots. Maybe I’ll try that tonight if its clear out. I did another one last night, but haven’t had a chance to look at it yet.

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