Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Star Trails!

I've been waiting for a chance to try star trail photography for quite some time now. I don't get out into the wild away from the lights of the city very often to get a good glimpse of the stars. I was really hoping that when I was in Washington shooting a wedding, that I would have my chance. Luck would have it, I got clear skies on Sunday night during a new moon, sot he skies were covered with stars. I had read about different approaches, and I had 3 dSLR cameras to play with, with 2 remotes. I discovered that stacking images works the best, and using 30 second exposures and a fairly wide aperature was the key. Here are a few examples.

This one turned out okay, but most of the images were out of focus. The end result after stacking them with StarTrails, was okay, but in the future, I'm going to ensure that I'm not trying to focus automatically, and set my focus manually. I may try and redo this one, as cars pulled up into the parking lot, and added a bunch of light to the building. I think I can pull those specific exposures out and re-stack. I also think that this one is more dramatic, as the camera is pointed towards Polaris, or the north star, and everything else seems to rotate around it.

This one was on a 7D, and not as wide of a lens, but the results is much sharper. You can see how many stars were out on this night, and I pressed the trigger manually on this camera after each 30 second exposure. Although it takes hours to get these types of results, it is definitely worth the wait.

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