Star Trails

Home Forums Photography Q&A Star Trails

This topic contains 7 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  James Staddon 2 months, 3 weeks ago.

Viewing 8 posts - 1 through 8 (of 8 total)
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  • #24980

    Jinny Schober
    Participant

    Does anyone have any tips for shooting star trails? Like how long the shutter should be open or anything like that? Thanks!

    #24981

    Austin Vinar
    Participant

    I have done several shots of star trails, but never with BULB mode. I shoot a few hundred exposures, usually from 10-30 seconds, and stack them in GIMP.

    #24982

    blessingscaptured
    Participant

    Would I be able to stack exposures in Photoshop elements?

    #25581

    James Staddon
    Keymaster

    Here’s a great article on how to shoot and combine star trails: https://petapixel.com/2013/03/18/how-to-photograph-star-trails-from-start-to-finish/ (I recommend you have AdBlock Plus installed for that website)

    If shooting in Bulb, it’ll take a lot of experimenting. You’ll need 30min to an hour at least. This is rough on your camera. And if your tripod gets bumped for whatever reason, or your battery runs out….oh well, you have to start over.

    The safest way to go about creating nice long star trails is to stack many, many 30sec exposures. It’s very simple. In Photoshop, it’s a matter of setting each layer to the Lighten blend mode.

    @blessingscaptured, Do you know if Photoshop Elements has the Lighten blend mode?

    #25611

    blessingscaptured
    Participant

    From what I found Photoshop element does have an lighten blend mode but I don’t know how to use it.

    http://www.dummies.com/photography/photo-software/adobe-photoshop-elements/darken-and-lighten-blend-modes-in-photoshop-elements-10/

    #25625

    James Staddon
    Keymaster

    Ok! I’ll try to show you how to use it tomorrow during the webinar! https://www.lenspiration.com/photography-qa-with-lenspiration-sep-16/

    #25634

    Jinny Schober
    Participant

    Is there a “good” time to shoot at night? Or is just anytime all right?

    #25804

    James Staddon
    Keymaster

    During the time of the new moon is usually the best time to shoot, so right now is great! If it’s not at 0%, you’ll want to shoot after the moon as set. This makes uring Waning Crescent time an easier to get star trails than the Waxing Crescent like it will be in a few days. Know the current phases of the moon through timeanddate.com or apps, like Phases of the moon.

    You’ll want to be in as dark a place as possible too. The app Light Pollution Map is helpful for this. Since I live close to a little town, the map indicates that I can get a greater level of darkness southwest of me. I found a cemetery 10 miles away in this darker zone and so that’s where Jonathan and I are going to shoot this Saturday. (It didn’t work to do it last night, as I mentioned in the webinar, because of cloud cover.)

    And for those of you who missed it, here’s the section of the webinar where I explained how to use the Lighten Blend Mode!
     
    https://www.lenspiration.com/video/lighten-blend-mode/

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