Every day I learn something new… This one probably makes me look like a novice but I promise you I am an actual professional. I have done a ton of landscape astrophotography in the past but never star trails. This week I learned about setting your camera to continuous exposure and locking your remote shutter to take continuous 30 second exposures for the perfect start-trail photograph. Clever!
I’m not going to sit here and pretend like I invented this clever trick… I borrow great ideas all the time. The first time I heard about this was watching a video by Tony Northrop and then I heard about it a half dozen times as I researched technique on the YouTube machine. Apparently this is one of the best kept secrets of star-trail photography.
Full disclosure, I’ve never really looked into star trail photography beyond how to avoid it as I was shooting the Milky Way. If you’re trying to photograph the Milky Way the last thing you want is a star trail. However, for my next photography project, I’ll be shooting star-trails over the desert in Death Valley so I thought I’d better do my research.
So there you have it, set your camera to continuous shooting and lock your remote shutter release for a series of images to use for your star trail. Don’t ask me how long… Okay, all I’ve gathered so far is that the longer your focal length the shorter the time. For a 50mm lens it’s something like 55 minutes. I’m going to give it the old college try and use approx 24mm for an hour and work backwards from there in post processing.
Bookmark PhotolisticLife or follow me on Instagram @PhotolisticLife if you’d like to see the results and any other work I’ve been hammering away at. I’ll be writing a follow-up article in the future with a tutorial on star trails if and when the wheather cooperates.
“… this week.” Do you date your posts somewhere? I think that would be helpful.
Hey Andy, thanks for the feedback. Sorry to hear the missing date throws you for a loop. As the advice does not contain an expiration date I kind of feel like it’s best left without the date so that if you stumble upon it in a week, month, or year you can still pull what helpful info you find from it without feeling like it’s old and stale. I’ll be sure to keep that in mind though. Thanks for reading!
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