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Thread: Star Trails

  1. #1

    Default Star Trails

    Happy New Year,

    Must be getting old. New Year's Eve had my wife staying up til midnight only to file our family's PFD paperwork online and had me crunching through the frost trying to take star trail pictures. Cheaper than the bar I guess. Huge bright full moon. Blue moon at that. Not a good night for star trail photos from what I have read on the net. We get so few clear nights here in Southeast that one can't be too choosy. A couple of them I liked. Had to balance things to keep from over exposing due to bright moonlight.





    Shorter exposures than they should have been. Kept going to a smaller and smaller aperture to keep from over exposing. Wanted to keep the shutter open for 30-50 minutes but the moonlight would not allow. Even these two had to have raw file adjusted. Any suggestions would be apperciated. ND filter?

    Thanks,

    Bruce
    There's a fine line between fishing and just standing on the shore like an idiot.

  2. #2
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    Default

    I like the effect of the moonlight and star trails. Perhaps waiting a week or so to get less of it with longer exposures would be more what you're looking for.

    When I've wanted longer exposures for creaming out a waterfall in daylight I've used a polarizer filter and the dark end of a ND Grad as a normal ND filter. The polarizer allows about 1-2 stops of longer exposure times, and the ND grad offers as much as it's dark side. What works really well though is two polarizers stacked together. Depending on how you align them, they can go almost completely opaque, so you can dial in as much of the Neutral Density darkening effect as you want. You do have to buy an additional polarizer though.

  3. #3

    Default

    Thanks for the ideas Jim. I knew when I left the house that the moon was going to limit how I could shoot. I do own one polarizer and a ND filter. Not sure if I can stack filters on my 17-55 mm. I have to buy slim filters. Will try it though. Cloud cover and snow have moved back in. Will have to hope that a rare clear Southeast evening presents itself on a weekend where the moon is at 1/4 or less. My guess is the next blue moon will come first though.

    Thanks again for help,

    Bruce
    There's a fine line between fishing and just standing on the shore like an idiot.

  4. #4
    New member
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    Default Take the pics...

    durin' a new moon...

  5. #5
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    Default

    Very nice.

  6. #6
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    Oct 2008
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    Default

    Star Trail pictures are one of the most fun and interesting pictures to take. One of my all time favorites!

    The full moon does suck however I like how the "object" of your photos are lit naturally!

    Instead of filters what you can try is many shorter exposures (one right after another). You need some photo editing software (photoshop cs3 or elements) to layer the many photos together. If you have 15 2min exposures (back to back) your final photo will be 30 min of star trails.

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