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Star Trails 8

It’s been over 6 months since I last did a star trails shot. Those of you that remember Star Trails 7 might recall my lamenting how a couple of things might have made it a better shot. For one, I had wanted the windmill to be the center of the trails, and secondly I had wanted to better front-light the windmill. (As it turned out, the response was favorable regardless – it went on to become my most interesting photo, according to flickr.)


This weekend – with conditions favorable (a cool front had just blown through / no moon) – I thought I’d give it another try. Originally, I had actually planned to not shoot the windmill again, but rather have the corner of a hay shed be in the foreground (I tend to shy away from shooting the same subject the same way twice). However, when I went down to the field I noticed a subtle light cast on the windmill I hadn’t seen before. Turns out, the football stadium lights of nearby Boerne High School – which had just finished playing their Friday night game – were still on, leaving just enough light on the windmill that a 30-sec. exposure would really grab. I decided to use this light pollution to my advantage, and take another crack at the windmill shot.


Once complete, the windmill was lit up to my liking, but the foreground was still quite dark. I had a couple frames from the beginning/end of the timelapse sequence that caught the light of my departing/approaching headlight, so I decided to composite those in. In the end, I’m not sure this one is any better than ST7, but it’s at least closer to how I originally envisioned the shot.


[Side note: I had originally planned to post this Monday morning, but have been way too busy with work lately. I did, however, notice that at one point yesterday page one of my limited contacts page had not one, not two, but three images of stars or star trails shots! I couldn’t believe it, and was frustrated I wasn’t able to post earlier, because now I know it looks like I’m following in the footsteps of others (nice shots btw Jeff/Michael – I hope to get to everyone’s streams here in a bit). Oh well, things aren’t always as they seem…]


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Equipment Details:

Nikon D300

Nikon 12-24mm @ 13mm

30sec. exposures @ f/4

ISO 800

MC-36 Multi-Function Remote Cord (Intervalometer)

Bogen - Manfrotto 190XB Tripod

486RC-2 Compact Ball Head with RC-2 Quick Release


Processing Details:

Total frames: 104 + 3 stills for foreground lighting

Interval: 1 sec.

Total Span: 1 hour, 7 minutes

JPEGs stacked with Startrails 1.1

Post-processed with PSE 6




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Taken on May 18, 2011