Last night I tried creating a star trails photograph. This consists of taking a series of 30 second exposures back to back to show the movement of stars across the night sky. This photograph was the second attempt as I learned many invaluable lessons on the first.
The lessons learned were:
1. If you want the stars to rotate around an axis, make sure you have the North Star in the frame.
2. Set your tripod up on solid ground. Attempting this from a deck or raised structure can make the results look like some sort of heavenly morse code message with trails being interrupted by off key glitches.
3. If you are doing this with a digital single lens reflex camera, lock the mirror up to avoid camera bounce.
4. Use a remote shutter to initiate each shot to avoid camera bounce.
5. Finally, make sure you are clothed properly for the weather. You’ll be spending some time outdoors and if you are not dressed appropriately, it will make it all a miserable experience.
My first attempt was a 30 minute sixty shot attempt that turned out bad. This is my second attempt which I cut down to 16 minutes with the camera set at ISO 3200, f/4.5, 30″ shutter, and a 10mm lens.