Its a freezing cold night here in Ireland with a clear sky and
virtually no wind - perfect for hunting for star trails. I had two
locations in mind - this is the second of the two and a familiar
subject, I've photographed the Horseman on many occasions this year.
My take on star trails is pretty much the same as everyone else - there are two popular techniques, a single long exposure or multiple exposures combined in Photoshop. Each of these has its place. The single exposure is good for shooting in near darkness with no strong light sources. Multiple exposures are necessary if there are additional light sources that will possibly blow-out in a long exposure (street or window lights etc).
This is a single 30 minute Exposure. Shot in RAW and converted in PS, the image is pretty much straight from the camera (I did crop the image as some light contamination had crept into the RHS, also a simple border is added).
One of the most difficult aspects of virtual zero-light photography, is trying to get your focus right, a few test shots using a flash is helpful here - or for purists, come at dusk and set up your shot, lock down focus and wait for darkness. The exposure is down to experimentation after that, I've tested a few settings and for this shot used ISO 200 at f/5.6.
The illumination of the sculpture was created naturally as a result of ambient light coming from traffic along the N4 (no PS dodging or burning here). In total about 6 cars passed during the exposure. It was a stroke of luck to limit the exposure to 30 minutes as any additional light hitting the sculpture might have caused high-lights to blow.
More from this sitting to follow.