Shooting Star Trails

June 9, 2013

I had the opportunity to go out and spend some time in the early morning hours with a couple of pro-wedding photographers who wanted to shoot some star trails. We had a good time visiting while our cameras snapped away shooting 30 second photos for a total of 90 minutes.

This was my first try at stacking images. If you shoot longer than 30 second exposures, you’ll start heating up your sensor (not good) and getting lots of noise. So the trick is to take hundreds of shots at shorter exposures and stack them together. In all, I ended up with 197 photos. I did have to go through and remove airplanes (seriously, who flies around at 1am?), shooting stars, and other little objects. I used a program called StarStaX to stack the images together.

Here’s the final image:

After we were done shooting, we thought we’d try out an off-camera flash:

And my 160 LED light, which really lit up the dust in the air: