View Full Version : Xakanaxa Stars

06-02-2014, 07:02 AM

Stars of Xakanaxa, Moremi, Botswana

Canon EOS 6D, Canon EF 17-40mm f/4 L USM

ISO 1600, f/4 at 6s exposures

Focal Length : 17mm

Slik Able 300 DX Tripod Used
310 processed the same, converted to JPEGS, merged using StarTrails.exe software, minor noise adjustments done in DPP, lightroom, converted to black and white, minor adjustments and final noise reductions in photoshop.

First Image taken at 19:13:57, last image taken at 20:41:08

Waning Crescent Moon

Okay so by no means am I a pro when it comes to star trails, but what I would like to know if how you would of taken this image if different to me?
How would you have processed the image in post?
and if you have any crit on the image, please don't be afraid to be harsh, Its the only way to really learn is it not?

Is there anymore info you would like to know on the image?

I have posted a full technical breakdown on how I captured this image on my blog (http://wp.me/p4G1TT-uP)

Andrew McLachlan
06-03-2014, 07:56 PM
Hi Timothy, I have no advice on photographing at night or capturing star-trails as I have not ventured there yet. As for composition...I would like to see the tree a little more to the right within the frame and a little more foreground showing in front of the tree, not much just a touch.

Diane Miller
06-05-2014, 08:04 AM
I love star trails but never thought to present a scene incorporating them as B/W -- a very interesting idea. You did an excellent job of getting the point of rotation in the center of the frame, in order to keep the circles from being distorted. I love the tree. I also think it feels a little crowded at the bottom -- I'd consider adding some canvas there -- should be easy to fill in with black. But make sure the blacks actually match -- there is black and there is black.... : >) Put a temporary Curves or Levels layer on top of everything and pull the right end way in to stretch out the darks to see how well they match.

I've found that I can shoot a stack of 3 min exposures with the 5D3 at ISO 100-200 and a wide f-stop. (Would have to dig out my notes to see exactly the settings.) No need to fancy stacking software, either. Just layer them all in PS, select all and set to Lighten blend mode. (No need to exclude the bottom one as it's blend mode is moot with nothing below it.) My battery runs out after about 4.7 hours so I only have about 90 layers. They can be opened directly as a stack from LR and flattened after the blend mode is set. (I will remove shooting stars and airplane trails from the raw frames before stacking or in PS before flattening.) It's amazing how well the individual star colors come out. I posted some a while back in OOTB and Framing Your Images with Words.

No need to pause between frames for in-camera NR -- that will give you a gap in the trails and it only eliminates one kind of noise. If you expose to get good trails you shouldn't get any noise that you can't deal with in post, with a little tonal adjustment in the raw files. Adjust one and sync it to the others.

Would love to see more of your star trail experiments!

06-07-2014, 07:00 AM
Thank you for the reply's Dianne and Andrew :) will have a look at doing what you have suggested

Arthur Morris
06-20-2014, 07:39 PM
HI Timothy, I know noting about processing these but I would suggest getting closer to the tree and isolating it from the star trails.... As presented it is a hodgepodge with no definitive subject....