Star Trails

This is my very first attempt at Star Trails.

Taken from our back veranda, pointing at Orion. The trees are lit up by a floodlight.


Exposure: 5 mins

Aperture: f/4

ISO: 400

Lens: Canon 50mm f/1.8 II

Noise Reduction: Disabled

View all photos taken: Monday, 18th December 2006, This photo: 9:22pm

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  • photo by Alison said:
    wonderful! I'd love to do this too.... I've found out recently that the different colours show the different ages of the stars.... apparently if you shoot the Southern Cross like this, one of the stars is red and most are blue. (from memory anyway!)
  • David de Groot said:
    All you need is a tripod and cable release for bulb mode Alison :) If I'd pointed directly south (I think) I'd have got a circular pattern rather than arcs (or so the tips I read today are correct).
    As for the star colours, I should have been aware of that, but wasn't - thanks!
  • Margot- said:
    Wow, this is so COOL! (o^.^o)
  • David de Groot said:
    Thanks Margot - I've wanted to do this sort of shot for a while but the S2 would only do 15 sec exposures and I would have to have taken 20 shots and combine them to get the same effect. So much easier with a cable release and bulb mode :)
  • rainforest_harley said:
    This is on my to do list but I'm limited to 8 min with the e500.
  • benefit of hindsight said:
    Very cool David!
  • David de Groot said:
    RH, apparently you start to get thermal noise from the sensor getting warm after 3-4 minutes on the 400D, so 8 isn't that bad. Having said that, the in-built noise reduction is meant to get rid of that (but takes quite a long time). I disabled the noise reduction for this shot, so if you look at it large or original you'll see the salt and pepper type thermal noise.

    Thanks David, I think I might be doing a few more of these in the future.
  • picsbymac said:
    Please do - this is so cool.
  • David de Groot said:
    Thanks Melissa :) I might be able to get some in Sydney (of course the light pollution might be too bad, but I guess I won't know until I see - it's been a couple of years since I was last down that way).
  • Mark McCowen said:
    This turned out great! I would love to do the same but I think Arizona might have too much light pollution. I can hardly see the stars at night. I will have to travel beyond the city limits. Sounds like a great excuse to get out of town.
  • borealnz said:
    Well done David, I am surprised that it only took 5 minutes to capture the trails. I hope to try this soon....I have the perfect place to do it.

    Seen on your photo stream. (?)
  • David de Groot said:
    It's relatively dark out our way, we only get the glow of Brisbane when it's overcast. :)
    Apparently you can start to get little short trails after only a minute or so, and the longer the exposure the more chance of thermal sensor noise. Mind you, the noise reduction in the camera will remove pretty much all of that BUT (and there's always a but), it takes about as long as the exposure to process, so if your batteries aren't fully charged you might lose the shot, thus I turned noise reduction off.
  • chooks! said:
    very good shot david!how long did you have your finger on the button for?
  • David de Groot said:
    Ah this is going back a bit ;-)
    I've built a remote shutter release so my finger was on the button for all of maybe 1/10th of a second, but the shutter was open for 5 minutes :)
  • songsalways said:
    lovely shot.. i loved the trails...
    i'm gonna try something like this.. :)
  • David de Groot said:
    Thanks :)