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Star Trails in Woomelang

Last night I went out to get a star trail of the night sky over Woomelang.  The weather has been a bit crazy the last couple of days, but I had hoped that with the skies starting to clear that I might be able to get a good series of images that I could stack together to do a star trail.  While we could see the stars, we could also see that there were lots of clouds about, so I only tried for an hour.  When I saw the photos many of the stars were hidden by the clouds, so imagine my surprise when I did the stacking and saw this.

 

It seems the clouds didn’t matter. I wish I had stayed longer now.

This was only the second time I have attempted to do these.  They take so long and you really need to be somewhere where you can get a good foreground. I think I am going to have to start doing some camping, so I can take lots of and lots of these.  I can just set the camera up and take photos for a few hours, while I sleep in a tent.  That would be good.

The other issue is that you really don’t know what you are getting until you put them on the computer and see.  It is all trial and error and you spend a lot of time doing them, and then if you don’t get something right, then it is too late, you have wasted a couple of hours.

I don’t really know what I am doing, and still playing around, but I do know I want to try this some more. Woomelang and places around here are perfect for doing this, so I am going to have to keep trying when I come up.

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7 Responses

  1. A couple of suggestions, Leanne: Try a vertical composition to get more of the sky. In this case, the right side of the image doesn’t have much of interest in the foreground, so you would have gained a lot by going for the portrait orientation. Second, you did well with 60 minutes and most of the time, 90-100 minutes should be sufficient. A little more on your camera settings would be helpful to your readers. For example, check here: http://photographybykent.wordpress.com/2014/08/23/star-trails/

    • leannewhatever

      I tried a vertical composition the time before and my camera slipped on the mount for the tripod, and I didn’t want that to happen again. I agree, vertical can be good, but I just wanted to get as much as I could. I am too lazy with the camera settings, I hate doing them. I did put them on a facebook, but no where else, the settings were f/2.8, 30 seconds, ISO 1250, I did 100 shots. there were so many clouds, that I really thought I was wasting my time, which is why I stopped when I did, also my mum was complaining too much, so decided to leave it. I will try again some time.

    • Thanks, Leanne. Sorry to hear about the problems with the tripod. I assume you were using an intervalometer based on the nice continuous flow of the trails. Next time you might also try f/5.6, 4 minutes, ISO 400. You end up with only 25-30 images to process among other benefits. I enjoy your posts, keep up the good work!

    • Yeah, it was a pain, I don’t know if I had the plate at the bottom screwed into the camera tight enough, or if the camera is just too heavy when on the tripod like that for long periods. I will try it again, but I really wanted to just get one. I was using my shutter release cord and had it locked, though mine is also an intervalometer as well. I have been trying to experiment, and that sounds like a good idea, my computer doesn’t cope well with all the images. Thanks Robin.

    • leannewhatever

      Yeah, it was a pain, I don’t know if I had the plate at the bottom screwed into the camera tight enough, or if the camera is just too heavy when on the tripod like that for long periods. I will try it again, but I really wanted to just get one. I was using my shutter release cord and had it locked, though mine is also an intervalometer as well. I have been trying to experiment, and that sounds like a good idea, my computer doesn’t cope well with all the images. Thanks Robin.

    • Yes, working in the dark can be frustrating, that’s for sure. On the positive side, it sounds like you have dark places that are relatively close. On the east coast of the US, we basically have to take a 5-6 hour plane ride to get to a truly dark location. Good luck on your next outing!

    • leannewhatever

      Yes that’s true, you really don’t have to travel far, about an hour from the city. There are still lots of places I want to explore, though coming up to my mums is great, it is dark here and the one above was basicially shot in town, so even better. There are some places around here I would like to try them, but they might have to wait for now. Daylight savings starts next week, and I don’t know about staying up until midnight to do any. Maybe on special occasions, then I will have to put up with the mosquitoes as well, fun, the things we go through to get photos, LOL,

Talk to me, it is too quiet.