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Star trails

Discuss everything including the optimal equipment, seasons, techniques and tips for capturing excellent photos.

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Re: Star trails

Postby hobkyl » Wed Aug 10, 2011 11:23 am

There are tons of places in WNY that are secluded from the lights. WNY hosts dozens of state forests and multi use areas that are far from lights. Also there are miles and miles of country roads flanked by farm fields that are out of the range of the light pollution. I bet you could find somewhere within less than an hour from where you live that would be suitable. Although the Daks would be a great option as well.
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Re: Star trails

Postby americanhero » Wed Aug 10, 2011 11:33 am

hobkyl wrote:There are tons of places in WNY that are secluded from the lights. WNY hosts dozens of state forests and multi use areas that are far from lights. Also there are miles and miles of country roads flanked by farm fields that are out of the range of the light pollution. I bet you could find somewhere within less than an hour from where you live that would be suitable. Although the Daks would be a great option as well.



I guess I will find something. But where to start?
Any recommendations? Maybe a camping trip to Letchworth or Allegheny SP?
I also need to find some spots for a spontaneous night shooting
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Re: Star trails

Postby hobkyl » Wed Aug 10, 2011 11:46 am

I'd say those two would be great places. You also have Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge. Plus dozens of state forests in the Ellicotville area which is about an hour from you. Or driving towards Rochester along the lake (rt 18...eventually the parkway)....miles away fom city lights with farms as far as the eye can see.

Pull up your favorite mapping service and take a gander for state forests, refuges, or roads far far away from towns and city's.
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Re: Star trails

Postby cbobcat49 » Wed Aug 10, 2011 7:11 pm

Cherry Springs State Park in north central PA is known for its dark skies.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cherry_Springs_State_Park
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Re: Star trails

Postby americanhero » Wed Aug 10, 2011 7:50 pm

thanks for your ideas, I guess I have to try some of those in the next weeks. Depending on the weather forecast :D :D
Need to improve my skills with star trails a little bit more.
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Re: Star trails

Postby Kelly » Sat Aug 13, 2011 3:49 pm

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Re: Star trails

Postby americanhero » Sat Aug 13, 2011 4:57 pm

Kelly wrote:Some inspiration: Matthew Cook Photography - Star Trails


wow, those are really cool star trails :up:
That's exactly the stuff I have in mind. Wish I could do that
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Re: Star trails

Postby hoohaa » Tue Aug 16, 2011 11:10 am

americanhero wrote:wow, those are wonderful trails. :up:

I tried some trail as well this year. Took this two shots in Southern Utah while there on vacation. It also was my very first attempt with the trails
The first one wasn't long enough, only 12 independent shots which I later later stacked together. All shots were 30sec exposures

Image

the second one is much better, I stacked 5 or six shots together. Each of the shots had a 2 minute exposure and the lighting on the rocks is from my campfire. :D

Image


if I ever find a place here in Western New York without a lot of light pollution, I will give it another try.


Those are incredible! Love 'em! Well done.

I have recently started reading on stacking. I can't figure out how some of it works though. I saw one awesome image someone took and they did 100 30-second exposures and stacked them. The result was amazing. But when I did any 30-second images, it looked like a blank screen on my camera. How does that work if you have all those exposures and it seems to be capturing nothing. I'd hate to go sit somewhere for an hour, do all those exposures, stack them and find I got nothing in the end!

Is stacking a tough thing to do?

Loved your shots. I hope some clear weather comes soon as I'd like to try some star trails again.
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Re: Star trails

Postby americanhero » Tue Aug 16, 2011 11:16 pm

hoohaa wrote:Those are incredible! Love 'em! Well done.

I have recently started reading on stacking. I can't figure out how some of it works though. I saw one awesome image someone took and they did 100 30-second exposures and stacked them. The result was amazing. But when I did any 30-second images, it looked like a blank screen on my camera. How does that work if you have all those exposures and it seems to be capturing nothing. I'd hate to go sit somewhere for an hour, do all those exposures, stack them and find I got nothing in the end!

Is stacking a tough thing to do?

Loved your shots. I hope some clear weather comes soon as I'd like to try some star trails again.


thank you. :oops:

I used a special software for stacking and it was really easy to work with it.
The program was established by a German guy, but you can choose between German and English.

http://www.startrails.de/html/software.html

One disadvantage of stacking software is that you get gaps in the trails. Within a lower resolution you barely see it, but in high resolution this can be really ugly.



I just started experimenting with my camera and star trails and still have to improve my technique a lot.
But I found a really good article about star trails, maybe it is helpful for you.

http://www.naturephotographers.net/arti ... 509-1.html
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Re: Star trails

Postby Matt » Thu Aug 18, 2011 12:47 pm

Photoshop CS4 and 5 will do stacking quite well.
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