Trying Things for the First Time

My first attempt at star trails down at Sorrento

Yesterday I went to Sorrento with a friend to take some photos, we started in the afternoon, had dinner and then headed back out in the dark.  I wanted to try getting some photos of the stars. and my friend wanted to try it for the first time.  I set my camera to take a series of photos.  I was taking 30 second exposures continuously for just over an hour.  While my camera was going I helped my friend take her photos and showed her how to do the photos.

My first attempt at star trails down at SorrentoIt didn’t work too well.  My camera moved somehow and it put the stars off.  If I do this again, I will need to do it for longer and will have to make sure my camera doesn’t move.

I am not totally disappointed with what I got, it is a good start, and I would like to try doing this again.  I do like that I was pointing in the right direction. Good to know that I did see the southern cross and that I followed it correctly.

I would like to do a lot more of this and I know that my friend will be more than happy to keep me company while my camera just goes off.  When I go to Woomelang I am definitely going to do more of this.  Though if I do them up there, I might do them for a couple of hours, and see how they turn out.

I do have to say that my laptop doesn’t cope well dealing with all the images together and with the stacking, it takes forever to do.  It slows my computer down so much, I really will have to get a new computer if I want to do this sort of thing for real.


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  1. Leanne, though you seem unhappy, I like the effect here. It makes me think of coming out of a dream. And as you said, it’s a good experiment. Nothing ventured, nothing gained!

    1. Exactly Jen, I think it was a great experiment, and just between you and me, I like it when things fail the first time, gives you something to strive for. Can’t wait to do a lot more. Thank you, I love the circle, if my camera hadn’t moved, I would have been pretty happy. Oh well, you just never know.

  2. I like the foreground setting for a star trails photo. A little tip that will help you the next time you try this. With wide angle lenses you need to shoot more photos to get more of a trail and for zoom lenses it doesn’t take as long. I don’t remember the exact details of the entire concept but for a wide – ultra wide angle lens I would do a minimum of 4-5 hours of photos for a nice star trail photo. Ideal is to go 7-9 hours or until the battery dies. My first attempt I think I got some nice star trails but not a very good foreground, but it was just experimental at that point. I ended up with about 700-800 photos as the final result. Like yours, I was taking a photo every 30 seconds. It would be nice if you are able to refine your process a bit more and are able to make it to this location and be there long enough to get a nice set of photos for star trails.

    1. I know all the stuff about the lenses Justin, I was just using what I had, to be honest I didn’t really expect it to work, but it was my first time where I consciously tried. It certainly isn’t a place where I could stay for that amount of time. I think it would have worked a lot better if the camera hadn’t slipped on the tripod, I must make sure that tightened the plate a lot more next time, or use a lens that isn’t to heavy. I don’t think my computer would cope with that many photos anyway. The experts I’ve seen doing this work with about 200 to 300, and I think my computer could deal with that many, will have to see. Thanks.

  3. Wow. I only saw the top of this image when the page loaded onto the ipad so it was like the big reveal as I scrolled down. I felt as if I were looking into a whirlpool of water at first and then I realized it was stars! I loved that feeling. Beautiful image Leanne.

    1. Thanks Laura, didn’t quite work the way I had hoped, but it is a great start and I learned a lot doing it, and can’t wait to try it some more.

  4. Leanne, you may be disappointed in the outcome, but I absolutely love the effect! I would imagine that perhaps if there was any breeze whatsoever that that is what accounts for “putting the stars off.”

    1. I am totally disappointed, it was good to see that I was basically doing the right thing. There wasn’t any wind, it was really still, but I suspect what the problem was was my camera might have slipped on the plate on the tripod. Every now and then that happens. I will have to remember to tighten it the next time I do it. It was a fun experiment though, so amazing because you can’t see the stars moving, and even in the images, and it isn’t until you put them all together that you get that. Thank you Stacy.

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