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Old Jul 2, 2010, 3:41 PM   #1
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Default Star trails

I decided to give the star trails a shot last night and this is what i got. The exposure was about 20 minutes. Tonight (since it's supposed to be clear again) i will try for a full hour maybe more depending on the sky. I have a short time right now where the stars shine and the moon comes up over the mountains.
This photo was run through Neat Image Pro twice.
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Old Jul 2, 2010, 6:35 PM   #2
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how do you keep your camera still for that long? What if there is wind? Does the tripod hold it still enough?
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Old Jul 2, 2010, 9:17 PM   #3
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Fortunately there was no wind that night. I have the tripod on the concrete slab that's the fishing pier. I take the camera strap and wrap it tightly around the tripod. Believe it or not that strap catching the wind can ruin shots like this. Also all knobs on the tripod are screwed down tightly after positioning the camera. If there is wind i usually find that as long as everything is tightened down and the camera strap out of the way, wind is not a big issue. Now if it's strong enough gusts that does pose problems, and i just wait for another day
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Old Jul 3, 2010, 7:52 AM   #4
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Star trails are great fun.

If you want to get into them more then check out this thread and the link in it written by Spy one of our top landscape photographers.

http://forums.steves-digicams.com/la...ay-galaxy.html
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Old Jul 3, 2010, 10:19 AM   #5
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i wish i could do them... my camera's longest shutter speed is 15 seconds... wtf? lol
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Old Jul 3, 2010, 12:10 PM   #6
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Thanks Mark for pointing my article on the subject. It's good to see people getting out there during times when being in bed is the most common sense thing to do.

Tswen, could you please provide what camera and lens was used for this shot plus if you could also provide ISO and aperture settings as well. If you have any questions or wondered why this or that during the shoot, I would be happy to help you out!
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Old Jul 3, 2010, 3:20 PM   #7
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The camera was a Canon XSi on Bulb. Aperture i believe was f/8 ISO 100. The lens was the kit 18-55mm with IS turned OFF.
My only problem is that the area in which i do the star pictures in has a city about 10 miles behind the mountains, which is why the sky turns more orange near the tops. I tried to help the exposure by adding a polarizing filter (last nights shots, not shown) to help cut the light to make a longer exposure, but this seemed to make the star trails very dull and not as bright even though the exposure time was nearly triple at 65 minutes.
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Old Jul 3, 2010, 4:05 PM   #8
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It helps knowing what you tried doing.

If you end up trying this again, which I hope you do, change your aperture from f8 to it's widest setting (3.5 or 4, which ever it is) Star trails need light so open up the aperture all the way. Second, set your ISO's to 1600. If your XSi only goes this high, then set it to 800. If the ISO's can extend to 3200 then set it to 1600. The sensor in this line of camera, though good, can't take maximum ISO's for night time star shots without creating tons of noise.

As light from star trails/Milkyway galaxy shots need to enter the camera's sensor uninhibited or enhanced, putting a filter on the lens will only defeat your purpose. I wouldn't worry about the light pollution from the city, it may just make your photo that much better or perhaps turn around and face the other way.

Good luck and look forward to seeing more from you. If you get a chance, check out the article I wrote on shooting these types shoots. http://www.bytephoto.com/forums/show...?threadid=7135

Kevin

Last edited by spy; Jul 3, 2010 at 4:08 PM.
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