Location:At home, Ipswich
General location: Australia, South-East Queensland
The Setup:I've been reading up on star trails for about a month now, and planning out what style (single exposure or composite), location (I thought our place at Ipswich would have too much light pollution - apparently not), and other such details. I wasn't expecting this test shot to be much of anything, but it turned out alright. It is a composite of 88 x 30-second exposures, combined in Startrails.
The camera & lens:Camera: Canon EOS 400D DIGITAL
Lens: Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 II @ 18mm
Exposure: 44 mins" @ f/5.6, ISO 800 (88 exposures (total 44 minutes exposure time, plus my camera seems to pause for around 0.5 seconds between each exposure).)
- This program could not be easier to operate. As long as the input files are file (i.e. a tripod was used, etc), just click select-all, load, then combine.
- Curves: highlights +45, lights +75, darks +5, shadows +10
- Blacks +20, clarity +100 (combined with above to make the stars much brighter, and the background darker
- Noise reduction: luminance +40
The wash-up:After the immediate feedback in-camera, and after processing, I researched some more and have a list of things to try for next time:
- Shoot toward north pole or south pole, to get circular trails
- Shoot JPEG rather than raw. All I'm doing with the raws is converting straight to JPEG anyway.
- Shoot with small aperture and highish ISO, 30-second exposures (I prefer the immediate feedback that it's going to work)
- Having a foreground subject will add some interest, and is generally recommended - but keep in mind the depth of field
- Shoot during new moon, as the moon is much too bright compared to the stars
I'm going to try a couple more test shots at home, then a big one out at Laidley during new moon.
What would you do?
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