Star Trails

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This topic contains 28 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of Chase Guttman Chase Guttman 5 years, 7 months ago.

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  • #43931
    Profile photo of Rob
    Rob
    Participant

    I have been fascinated with night photography; photos well beyond the blue hour. Especially photos of the constellations and star trails. I am always amazed by the colors of the star trails. The differing colors signify the temperature the star burns.

    Star trails are easily created by simply leaving the lens open for a length of time. For the image below, I set the ISO to 200, aperture to f4, focal length 10mm, exposure time, BULB mode at 1747 (about 29 minutes).

    What really helps is to set the camera to mirror lock up. Even the flipping of the mirror will cause a bit of a camera shake. On camera noise reduction also helps eliminate the noise. The downside is it doubles the time of camera in use. As I understand it, a 30 minute exposure will take another 30 minutes for the image to be recorded as the sensor cools.

    Into the Vortex

    Circular Star Trails

  • #57305
    Profile photo of Admin
    Admin
    Keymaster

    Very nice indeed.

    I wonder if the mirror lock up is strictly necessary? I mean, it's a low exposure shot and mirror movement would only last for a second or two maximum? On a 30 minute shot does make a lot of difference. Certainly couldn't hurt I suppose.

  • #79119
    Profile photo of Admin
    Admin
    Keymaster

    Very nice indeed.

    I wonder if the mirror lock up is strictly necessary? I mean, it's a low exposure shot and mirror movement would only last for a second or two maximum? On a 30 minute shot does make a lot of difference. Certainly couldn't hurt I suppose.

  • #57306
    Profile photo of gone
    gone
    Participant

    Thanks for this @northmetrophoto
    Is the difference between the two images the in camera noise reduction?

  • #79120
    Profile photo of gone
    gone
    Participant

    Thanks for this @northmetrophoto
    Is the difference between the two images the in camera noise reduction?

  • #57307
    Profile photo of Mike
    Mike
    Participant

    These are fantastic Rob. I, like @admin wonder if a small amount of mirror shake will make a difference in a 30 minute exposure??

  • #79121
    Profile photo of Mike
    Mike
    Participant

    These are fantastic Rob. I, like @admin wonder if a small amount of mirror shake will make a difference in a 30 minute exposure??

  • #57308
    Profile photo of Rob
    Rob
    Participant

    Well, it is typically part of my set up – though it may be not be necessary. When committed in taking ultra long exposures of over 1/2 hour, I'd rather error on the safe side rather than take the chance since there are other fun things to shoot at night, like constellations, etc.

    The second image was a 75 minute exposure at f8. I forgot to turn the noise reduction on.

    There is a program that helps to create star trails via multiple images rather than super long exposures. For that, an intervoltomete is needed to capture a photo every minute. See startrails.de for more information. You also can create time lapse movie clips.

  • #79122
    Profile photo of Rob
    Rob
    Participant

    Well, it is typically part of my set up – though it may be not be necessary. When committed in taking ultra long exposures of over 1/2 hour, I'd rather error on the safe side rather than take the chance since there are other fun things to shoot at night, like constellations, etc.

    The second image was a 75 minute exposure at f8. I forgot to turn the noise reduction on.

    There is a program that helps to create star trails via multiple images rather than super long exposures. For that, an intervoltomete is needed to capture a photo every minute. See startrails.de for more information. You also can create time lapse movie clips.

  • #57309
    Profile photo of Chase Guttman
    Chase Guttman
    Participant

    Great stuff @northmetrophoto – These photos have inspired me and encouraged me that I really need to try some more star trail photography.

  • #79123
    Profile photo of Chase Guttman
    Chase Guttman
    Participant

    Great stuff @northmetrophoto – These photos have inspired me and encouraged me that I really need to try some more star trail photography.

  • #57310
    Profile photo of Mike
    Mike
    Participant

    Thanks for the additional info Rob. I am definitely at one point going to try doing some star trails. There's a few items I need and I need to scout out a spot and figure out how much beer and pizza will be required for a thirty minute outing!

  • #79124
    Profile photo of Mike
    Mike
    Participant

    Thanks for the additional info Rob. I am definitely at one point going to try doing some star trails. There's a few items I need and I need to scout out a spot and figure out how much beer and pizza will be required for a thirty minute outing!

  • #57311
    Profile photo of Yvonne
    Yvonne
    Participant

    @mav2010, I can hear the conversation now, “hello pizza hut, I need you to deliver two mediums, I'm out in the field two fields over from the corn field, yea, yes, that's right, in the soy bean field. You can't miss me, I'm the guy in the dark with the tripod and the beer cooler”…

  • #79125
    Profile photo of Yvonne
    Yvonne
    Participant

    @mav2010, I can hear the conversation now, “hello pizza hut, I need you to deliver two mediums, I'm out in the field two fields over from the corn field, yea, yes, that's right, in the soy bean field. You can't miss me, I'm the guy in the dark with the tripod and the beer cooler”…

  • #57312
    Profile photo of kanonkop
    kanonkop
    Participant

    k, so heres the one thing i would love to know?

    Please, tell me, how do you get your camera in focus for the shot?!?!?!?!?

    if i try automatic focus, the camera just can't focus and then won't allow me to photograph. if i use manual focus, i find it difficult to get it perfectly in focus by viewing through the view finder or on screen. it can be very frustrating!!

    Thanks

  • #79126
    Profile photo of kanonkop
    kanonkop
    Participant

    k, so heres the one thing i would love to know?

    Please, tell me, how do you get your camera in focus for the shot?!?!?!?!?

    if i try automatic focus, the camera just can't focus and then won't allow me to photograph. if i use manual focus, i find it difficult to get it perfectly in focus by viewing through the view finder or on screen. it can be very frustrating!!

    Thanks

  • #57313
    Profile photo of Chase Guttman
    Chase Guttman
    Participant

    What you want to do is shoot at hyperfocal distance. This is a bit different from shooting at infinity. This article will give you a better idea of what I'm talking about- http://www.dofmaster.com/hyperfocal.html

  • #79127
    Profile photo of Chase Guttman
    Chase Guttman
    Participant

    What you want to do is shoot at hyperfocal distance. This is a bit different from shooting at infinity. This article will give you a better idea of what I'm talking about- http://www.dofmaster.com/hyperfocal.html

  • #57314
    Profile photo of Rob
    Rob
    Participant

    kanonkop auto focus will not work, as chaseguttman suggests the hyperfocal distance works. But in the dark of night you can not see things very well, and it is difficult to determine distance when looking up at the stars. I set the focus to manual and to infinity when shooting the sky. We are spinning so the stars will show movement. Wind blows the tree tops so they will not be as crisp anyway. Proper focus was not critical in the images I shot above.

    Landscapes or cityscapes with startrails behind them would benefit in the use of hyperfocal distance.

  • #79128
    Profile photo of Rob
    Rob
    Participant

    kanonkop auto focus will not work, as chaseguttman suggests the hyperfocal distance works. But in the dark of night you can not see things very well, and it is difficult to determine distance when looking up at the stars. I set the focus to manual and to infinity when shooting the sky. We are spinning so the stars will show movement. Wind blows the tree tops so they will not be as crisp anyway. Proper focus was not critical in the images I shot above.

    Landscapes or cityscapes with startrails behind them would benefit in the use of hyperfocal distance.

  • #57315
    Profile photo of kanonkop
    kanonkop
    Participant

    thanks guys, will give it a bash when i'm out again! looking forward to some less frustrating results!!

  • #79129
    Profile photo of kanonkop
    kanonkop
    Participant

    thanks guys, will give it a bash when i'm out again! looking forward to some less frustrating results!!

  • #57316
    Profile photo of Chase Guttman
    Chase Guttman
    Participant

    Also @kanonkop make sure you're not in a region of light pollution. I personally like to have a lit foreground element (all you need is a flashlight to wave back and forth) to give context to the star trails.

  • #79130
    Profile photo of Chase Guttman
    Chase Guttman
    Participant

    Also @kanonkop make sure you're not in a region of light pollution. I personally like to have a lit foreground element (all you need is a flashlight to wave back and forth) to give context to the star trails.

  • #57317
    Profile photo of Mike
    Mike
    Participant

    @chaseguttman that's a really great tip. Not having done this before, I would have thought that the landscape would just show up as lit but painting it is a GREAT idea!

  • #79131
    Profile photo of Mike
    Mike
    Participant

    @chaseguttman that's a really great tip. Not having done this before, I would have thought that the landscape would just show up as lit but painting it is a GREAT idea!

  • #57318
    Profile photo of Chase Guttman
    Chase Guttman
    Participant

    @mav2010 – during long exposures you can do all kind of techniques (whether it's the blur of someone walking through the scene or painting with off camera light). But another thing is that when you're doing star trails (depending on the desired effect), you really don't need to have super long exposures. You should also obviously have a tripod and maybe a shutter release.

  • #79132
    Profile photo of Chase Guttman
    Chase Guttman
    Participant

    @mav2010 – during long exposures you can do all kind of techniques (whether it's the blur of someone walking through the scene or painting with off camera light). But another thing is that when you're doing star trails (depending on the desired effect), you really don't need to have super long exposures. You should also obviously have a tripod and maybe a shutter release.

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