Attempt at Star Trails

First Attempt at Star Trails

This shot was taken the night we landed at the camp site. After pitching the tents and everybody off to sleep, I sat next to our tent with my camera setup for this. The first image has “8/8/2009 01:27:16” for its date and time and the last one was taken at “8/8/2009 02:25:36”

The final image was made from:

  • Nikkor 50mm
  • Aperture at F2.8
  • ISO at 200
  • 95 exposures, each at 30s
  • Image quality was JPEG fine

This entire set was stacked using StarTrails. After the end of my shoot, I quickly flipped through the 95 images and felt that it might come out, but hadn’t expected to get it so clear.

With some success on that night, I went for it again on the second night. This time I wanted to get more open space and shoot little early to avoid the bright light from the moon…and it turned out like this

Heavenly Bodies

Right next to our tent was was the valley where the lake had dried up. So I took my chair and was more keen on pointing the camera towards north so that the final image would show the trails around the pole star. With my next to nothing star gazing skills (sorry Gooba, missed you there) and with the help of a compass that came with the tripod, I just pointed towards the northern direction. Similar to the first shot, this one is made up of:

  • Nikkor 50mm
  • Aperture at F1.8
  • ISO at 200
  • 175 exposures, each at 30s
  • Image quality was JPEG fine

The small break in the trail was when I came back running to the tent to drink water and head back towards my spot in the valley. If only I had carried a water bottle…duh!

The major mistake I made was in assuming that I had set the focus of the lens to infinity and focal length of 18mm. In fact the lens was focused at 50mm which leaves no room for any other elements to be in the frame. Next time I need to make sure that I don’t repeat this. But this mistake hasn’t cost me much…lucky me 🙂

Though these two images doesn’t show anything in composition, it does tell me that I’m on the right track for getting the trails (technically speaking). On my next outing I need to work on putting other elements to the frame. Till then I’m just happy that I got the trails 😉

3 thoughts on “Attempt at Star Trails

  1. Now I know why you kept clicking…that was one of the biggest mysteries of the camping trip for me…he he…why would someone want to take pictures every 30 secs..but glad it was worth the time and effort:)

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