View Full Version : South Window Star Trails

Roman Kurywczak
02-18-2008, 06:34 PM
Taken on my recent Arches trip. Canon Mark 3 with the 17-40mm lens at 17mm. Set at f4.5 for 1 hour and painted with flashlight.
Comments always appreciated and welcomed,

Small Group Photo Tours
www.roaminwithroman.com (http://www.roaminwithroman.com)

Phil Colla
02-18-2008, 07:33 PM
Great star trails. The illumination on the rock seems a little dark, not as strong as some of your other recent posts. You've got a great flare for these images, well done.

Alfred Forns
02-19-2008, 08:37 AM
Hi Roman Love the idea behind these images This is wild !!! I like the overall feel and the density seems to complement it !!! Got to try it myself !!!

Robert Amoruso
02-19-2008, 02:33 PM

Great idea for creating this through the arch. A most excellent image.

Rich Ikerd
02-19-2008, 04:12 PM
Another excellent image Roman. You have definitely shown mastery of the star-trail techniques. I like the darker rocks in this one versus once with more light - doesn't seem as artificial.

Arthur Morris
02-19-2008, 08:51 PM
Hey Roman, This stuff is rockin' Any chance that you could share the basics of digital star trail photography with us or better yet, do a piece on it for the Education Resources Forum. (I need to get my butt over there and do some work...)

later and love, artie

Roman Kurywczak
02-19-2008, 09:07 PM
Hi Artie,
I'd be glad to. Is it like a normal post?

Arthur Morris
02-20-2008, 03:24 AM
Hi Artie,
I'd be glad to. Is it like a normal post?

Thanks Roman. You can post it here and I will grab it and move it to ER. I am interested in the very basics: is the camera battery enough? How do you compose in the dark? How do you keep the shutter button open? How do you determine the ISO and the exposure. The very basics for a real dummy who goes to bed early but also gets up very, very early.

thanks and later and love, artie

Roman Kurywczak
02-20-2008, 10:35 AM
Basics of Star Trail Photography

All you need for star trail photography is a fully charged camera with a bulb setting, a lens (wide angle preferably), sturdy tripod and head, a cable release that is able to be locked for at least an hour, bubble level for hot shoe, compass, and a powerful flashlight to aid in composition. Camera batteries vary, but I have gotten over 3 one hour exposures on a single charge, even on a very cold night.
Composing at night:
<O:pYou really want to do this when there is no moon. To achieve star trail circles, you must find the North Star (or Southern Cross) and shoot with it in your frame. By far, the hardest part of night/astral photography is composing at night. One method is to scout a subject during the day, compose it, focus it, and mark your lens so that when you return at night, you are ready. This is not always practical but it can be done; http://www.birdphotographers.net/forums/showthread.php?t=3768 (http://www.birdphotographers.net/forums/showthread.php?t=3768)
New technology has made that much easier. I use a 10 million candle power flashlight that I purchased at Cabellaís for around $40. By pointing this light at the edges of your foreground subject, you can compose almost as easily as you would during the day. You can also use this to ďpaintĒ your subject if they are large or far away from you that a normal light canít reach;
http://www.birdphotographers.net/forums/showthread.php?t=5335 (http://www.birdphotographers.net/forums/showthread.php?t=5335)<O:p
Remember that you donít have to paint. You can have a silhouette with the stars trails.
<O:pThe best starting point for star trails is ISO 100 and the next to widest opening on your lens (example; you have an f4 lens-set at 4.5) and the camera set to BULB. Thatís it! You composed your image as to the instructions above, now lock the shutter open with the cable release. You can now begin your painting if you choose. Try to keep them open for at least an hour. The longer you keep the shutter open, the longer or full circle your trails will be. If you are pointing away from the North Star, your trails will be sideways or up and down.
These are just starting points. You can experiment with higher ISOís; http://www.birdphotographers.net/forums/showthread.php?t=4976 (http://www.birdphotographers.net/forums/showthread.php?t=4976)
but remember that you start to introduce much more ambient light into the picture and that includes city light pollution!
Night photography poses many challenges that daytime photography does not. I have on one headlamp while Iím walking and keep a spare in my backpack with extra batteries for both so as not to get stuck anywhere without a light source. If you are hiking around at night serious injury or worse can happen as uneven terrain is not as easily visible as it is during the day. Extra attention should be paid while walking around at night but it is well worth the reward.

See you in the night,
Roman Kurywczak
Small Group Photo Tours
www.roaminwithroman.com (http://www.roaminwithroman.com)

PS Artie, let me know if you need anything else or I left something out. Getting up that early.you'll be able to do this!

Steve Bein
02-21-2008, 03:57 AM
This and the star trails are outstanding. Your creativity is inspiring. Keep it up.