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Old Aug 6, 2010, 10:51 AM   #1
spy
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Default Never Sleep/Star Trails

We finally had a break in the skies long enough to capture this shot. An added bonus was that the moon is in it's last phase as was just a sliver so did not throw too much light on the subject. Left the house at 12:30am this morning and got home at 4:30am, this shot is a composite of 140 - 30 second images "stacked" using cs5. I set the ISO's to 400 as I didn't want the trails to look too busy, plus the fact I was pointing toward the the town of Strathmore which is just 20 minutes down the highway from this point.

Nearby towns can add to the photo due to the light pollution reflected from them....it kind of gives a sunrise or sunset feel to the image.

5dMII, 24 - 70 2.8, ISO 400, 140 - 30 second images "stacked"
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Old Aug 6, 2010, 12:20 PM   #2
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lovely shot!

i do like the filtered city light effect on this, gives a very nice mood compared to pitch black star trail shot. its composed well, i like the choice of the 3 symmetrical buildings to anchor it.
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Old Aug 7, 2010, 6:42 AM   #3
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Great shot. I was out last nite around 1:30am but my shots are less than spectacular. Any idea what the two straight lines are? Why not arced?
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Old Aug 7, 2010, 7:00 AM   #4
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Great shot!

Best regards/Daniel
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Old Aug 7, 2010, 11:18 AM   #5
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Nice shots, capured a really nice "mood" as well with the light and cabins.

The 2 straight lines are probably lucky captures of meteors. I said lucky but knowing Kevin and his eye for detail he probably planed them..
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Old Aug 7, 2010, 12:57 PM   #6
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Thanks for the comments! Glad my outing turned out. It was a funny adventure for sure with a great story behind it. But first, Bynx, the straight lines actually transpired while I was sleeping in the truck so it may just remain a mystery but my guess would be a couple of high flying airlines blazing by.

So now, on to the story.....One thing I enjoy the most doing shots like this is that I'm usually at location from 12 midnight to 4am.....a time 99.9999999999999% of the sane population is nicely tucked away in bed and the other .0000000000000001% of the other insane population ISN'T, meaning the 3 other people being ME, MYSELF and I are left to do as we please without being noticed......, right?

So here I am walking through waist high wheat in the dark with a little light making my way over to these outbuildings (little barns), not a single thing was stirring, not even a mouse. I was pretty sure I was alone so I positioned my camera, got a focus lock on the one buildings and with the remote, locked the shutter to take photos every 30 seconds. So as the camera is taking photos, I'm walking over to the buildings in complete darkness thinking I'm going to trip on something or fall down a well or just have a gang of coyotes come run out of the buildings to have me for a late night snack and then ALL OF A SUDDEN........(do I have your attention??) ...about a mile over to my right a loud motor is running, sounds like open headers it's so loud and it's running for a long time.

I manage to go inside all these buildings, turn my spot lamp on for a while then make my way back to the camera. It's about 3am when the motor finally stops running. Then a few minutes later this truck is driving up slowly and stops with his headlights pointing at the barns. IM FREAKING NOW So I jump out of the tall grass and go over to talk to him. He's freaked out cause who in their right mind would be out in his field doing some light show on his barns!?? He said he was working on something by the house then noticed all this light and lasers waving around then said 'What the h&$% is going on!!" So after some laughs I explained my insanity to him and he let me continue on with the shoot.

Good thing I was there last winter as I had first received permission to gain access onto the land for a winter shot, so they already knew me from before so all was good.

Last edited by spy; Aug 7, 2010 at 1:01 PM.
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Old Aug 12, 2010, 5:16 PM   #7
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Great shot
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Old Aug 12, 2010, 10:02 PM   #8
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Awesome shot Kevin.

And thanks for the story behind it (that adds interest to the photo). I have a few questions (hope you don't mind me asking).

I've done some 'long exposures' (e.g 1x30 seconds) but never like yours, a whole series stacked. I guess you need a very solid tripod and remote.

Is it easy to set the camera to take 30 second photos in succession? Or do you need to keep pressing the remote each time? Or how do you 'get' the shutter to do that?

When you wrote "I obtained a focus lock with the remote" - does that mean it was very dark, but your 5D mk II found enough light from the light in the barn to focus on it (as I assume the rest of the scene was very dark and it probably woudn't focus?)

Finally, I'll be brave and ask - why is the foreground foilage somewhat blurry (oof, due to dof?) - or is it because of slight tripod / camera movement over time (e.g. due to wind)? I'm just very curious about all the answers to these questions.

Cheers. Great work as usual!

Paul
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Old Aug 12, 2010, 11:06 PM   #9
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Hey Paul, glad you have questions! Stacking all those photos does require a good tripod and as it was windy during this time, I debated staying to use my body as a wind shield but thought it wasn't that bad so opted to go get some sleep in the truck for the next hour while the camera snapped away.

It is very easy to set the camera to take 30 second shots in succession as I am able to lock the shutter button down on the remote cable. The tool of choice I use to help my camera focus at night is a powerful green laser pointer. It has all the light you need for your camera to focus. I got mine here [http://www.wickedlasers.com/lasers/E...on-87-37.html] and is the 60 mW model. With a 15 mile beam (which is very impressive at night) it will light up any subject near by that you wish your camera to focus on. The far reaching beam is really used to wow your friends and neighbours or if your out hiking at night by yourself and get hurt and need assistance, the beam can be used as an emergency beacon to signal for help.

The foilage is blurry as it was windy and it was moving all around.
I'm going out again tonight and will post images of what my laser looks like on subjects.

I really appreciate the questions and am glad to answer any that you or others my have.

Cheers!

Kevin
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Old Aug 13, 2010, 3:38 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spy View Post
Hey Paul, glad you have questions! Stacking all those photos does require a good tripod and as it was windy during this time, I debated staying to use my body as a wind shield but thought it wasn't that bad so opted to go get some sleep in the truck for the next hour while the camera snapped away.

It is very easy to set the camera to take 30 second shots in succession as I am able to lock the shutter button down on the remote cable. The tool of choice I use to help my camera focus at night is a powerful green laser pointer. It has all the light you need for your camera to focus. I got mine here [http://www.wickedlasers.com/lasers/E...on-87-37.html] and is the 60 mW model. With a 15 mile beam (which is very impressive at night) it will light up any subject near by that you wish your camera to focus on. The far reaching beam is really used to wow your friends and neighbours or if your out hiking at night by yourself and get hurt and need assistance, the beam can be used as an emergency beacon to signal for help.

The foilage is blurry as it was windy and it was moving all around.
I'm going out again tonight and will post images of what my laser looks like on subjects.

I really appreciate the questions and am glad to answer any that you or others my have.

Cheers!

Kevin
I am glad Paul asked this question as I wanted to ask as well but wanted to try Google first (no luck though) and I wanted to try this, your link doesn't work on that laser, but do you need the canon remote timer and set it to fire off every 30 sec as I have the Hahnel HW 433 C80 for my 5D II and 7D
http://www.amazon.co.uk/hahnel-Wirel.../dp/B001I905V6
and then how would you stack them in Photoshop?
thanks

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