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Thread: Star Trails

  1. #1
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    Star Trails

    I took my first ever star trails photos last night (this morning really). I was out to shoot the meteor shower which was almost a total bust for me. I got one photo with a visible meteor, but it's far from being spectacular. The moon was very bright and I bet that was a factor. The three I saw while out there were pretty big so I was probably missing smaller ones in the moonlight. It did illuminate the landscape nicely though!
    In the process, I took about a hundred 20 second shots back to back using my homemade IR intervalometer (my camera doesn't have one - maybe I'll explain that in a separate thread).
    Anyway after freezing out there last night and coming back with only one so-so meteor shot I figured I'd try some stacking. I bought ImageStacker (great value by the way!) this morning and made two images each comprised of about 50 shots. I'm happy with this as a first attempt and I'm already scheming where else I could use this technique for. Fun stuff!

    These are both shot with a Pentax K-x & Rokinon 8mm Fisheye triggered by a homebrew IR intervalometer.

    IMGP8762-IMGP8815.jpg

    This one has a plane flying through.
    IMGP8827-IMGP8876.jpg

  2. #2
    Senior Member armando_m's Avatar
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    Re: Star Trails

    wonderful shots,

    both of them ,

    the one with the plane some may dismiss but I think it is also interesting

  3. #3
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    Re: Star Trails

    Quote Originally Posted by armando_m View Post
    wonderful shots,

    both of them ,

    the one with the plane some may dismiss but I think it is also interesting
    Thank you!

  4. #4
    GB1
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    Re: Star Trails

    Matt, really like your top image. You could adjust a few things I think, maybe rotate CCW a little, but it's impactful as is.

    Shooting star trails requires long exposures, very little cloud or haze (which not only blocks view of the stars but catches light from nearby towns), no moon or flybys, and the setup where your battery won't die on you! I use a manual B for the latter, which I have on two of my film cameras.

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  5. #5
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    Re: Star Trails

    Quote Originally Posted by GB1 View Post
    Matt, really like your top image. You could adjust a few things I think, maybe rotate CCW a little, but it's impactful as is.

    Shooting star trails requires long exposures, very little cloud or haze (which not only blocks view of the stars but catches light from nearby towns), no moon or flybys, and the setup where your battery won't die on you! I use a manual B for the latter, which I have on two of my film cameras.

    G
    Thanks, that is my favorite too. I was probably about 18 Miles away from town (a small one) but a couple of cars drove by on a bridge at the very right of the frame. The moon was very bright, but the stars were bright enough to show up really well. I was doing individual shorter exposures just because I was really after meteors, and because it's easier to get the exposure right and even check it that way.

  6. #6
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    Re: Star Trails

    new here , it is wonderful pics !

  7. #7
    Panarus biarmicus Moderator (Sports) SmartWombat's Avatar
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    Re: Star Trails

    With multiple short exposures, you might want to turn the NR off to get the minimum time between exposures so that you can combine them without gaps in the rails.

    Last time I tried meteor captures that was the biggest issue, using Minolta A1 and Konica Minolta A2 the write time after a long exposure was almost as long as the exposure
    Using the Canon 20D it was almost as slow until I discovered the custom option to turn off the noise reduction.
    PAul

    Scroll down to the Sports Forum and post your sports pictures !

  8. #8
    Hardcore...Nikon Speed's Avatar
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    Re: Star Trails

    Cool shots Matt!
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  9. #9
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    Re: Star Trails

    Thanks guys!

    The gaps are from me taking a moment to adjust something with my intervalometer. Dark frame subtraction NR doesn't kick in on my camera until exposures are >30s, but I can also turn it off which I have done. The first time the camera did that I thought it had locked up or something!

  10. #10
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    Re: Star Trails

    Those are some cool photos. I can only hope to become that good some day.

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