Endless Frame Photography

Star Trail Attempts

Several night shots and attempts at star trails.

    I love nature, being out in nature, exploring it, understanding it, thinking about it, and of course photographing it. That word, nature, conjures up images of greenery, flora and fauna, canyons, rivers, and water falls. It extends past that though, and high above into the sky, a crisp sea blue, a deep azure, and the dark velvet black of night. One of my long standing goals has always been able to capture the beautiful of a pure uninterrupted night sky. The small twinkling pinholes of stars and the trails they leave behind them as they journey across the night sky.

    You might not realize it and it might be difficult to observe with the naked eye, but stars actually move quite a bit. I don’t mean shooting stars, I mean the millions scattered across the evening. The constellations move with the moon, they rise and set the same, breaking the horizon and arcing across the sky in a brilliant dance night after night. Capturing them on film is actually a pretty straight process.

apertureHere’s the basic idea:

     You’re camera has two main component when it comes to taking pictures: the shutter and the aperture. The shutter is what makes the clicking noise when you take a picture, ait open and closes and lets light and images enter your camera. The longer it stays open the more you’re going to get! The aperture is a little trickier; it controls how MUCH light enters the camera during that time. Think of it like a sink drain; the bigger it is the more stuff is going to move through it. Together you can manipulate these two things and capture the beauty of the night sky.

     You know when you take a picture of someone and they move and then come out blurry? Thats do to the shutter being open too long and some one moving before the picture was finished taking. You know when you take a picture and its too dark and you have a hard time seeing anything? That the aperture not being left open enough to let light in. When photographing the stars you want to leave the shutter open along time so you can capture their slow march across the sky, and you have to choose an aperture setting that lets the correct amount of light in. 

DSC_0005     As you’ll see here, I haven’t quite perfected what I preach, but at least I’m making progress. I set the camera on a tripod and my shutter setting to bulb (This leaves it open until i manual make it close) and my aperture at an F4. ( I thought its dark out, I want a lot of light)

    Oops way over exposed, it looks like daytime for crying out loud. So I closed the aperture a bit more, lowering it to about an F8, I also lowered my ISO (which is the sensitivity of the “film”) from 400 to 100.


Turns out it was a little under exposed

     I keep playing and playing with the settings, and while I never got anything perfect I did get many different results. This will help me the next time I go out and try and capture some star trails! 



This entry was published on June 1, 2014 at 5:02 pm. It’s filed under Nature, Photo Projects and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

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