Star Trails: A great way to bring something different home from your safari

Star Trail image by Hal NL

Star Trail image by Hal NL

In other articles, I mentioned the fantastic night sky in Botswana with more stars than you have ever seen.  In that article, I chose to accurately catch the night sky.  Another technique I had planned to use was to shoot star trails.  My plan was to scout out a great setting such as a baobab tree prior to sunset and then get the shot. Unfortunately, last trip, I ran out of tiem in the evenings.  That said, I definitly plan to do this next trip.

I have shot star trails in the past, it is easy, but does require you dedicating an hour or two sitting around while the camera takes the shots.  Also key is having a strong battery as exposures are typically 30 minutes to an hour..  From my research, I learned that there are several ways to get the shot.  The ‘old way’ which was the primary way in the days of film is to set up the tripod, click the cable release and push it into the ‘ lock’ position and let time pass.  In the digital world, this typically leads to very high sensor noise, so the more common current method is to take many 30 second exposures and then sandwich them together.  Most use free download software to accomplish this.

The internet has several good articles on technique, so rather  than writing a step by step ‘how to’ article, I am going to site a number of links that are good reads on the subject:

Star Trail image by Anton Matthee

Star Trail image by Anton Matthee

2 comments for “Star Trails: A great way to bring something different home from your safari

  1. P. B. Eleazer
    May 2, 2012 at 5:47 am

    I just found another eBook on this subject. I haven’t reviewed it but still want to pass along the link: http://roaminwithroman.wordpress.com/a-digital-guide-to-photographing-the-night-sky-pdf/

  2. P. B. Eleazer
    May 2, 2012 at 5:47 am

    I just found another eBook on this subject. I haven’t reviewed it but still want to pass along the link: http://roaminwithroman.wordpress.com/a-digital-guide-to-photographing-the-night-sky-pdf/

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