30 August 2013

Star Trail

It might seem very unlikely, but my star trail attempts have proved to be my most adventurous/crazy photography moments ever. 
So, yeah! Tonight was no exception.

My mom was gracious enough to volunteer to go sit in the car with me while I took a star trail.
I kind of felt bad, though, because I knew that I was mainly going to be experimenting; so I wasn't sure that I was even going to come away with a picture worth her trouble of being out there with me for an hour or two.

So, I began with a few "test" pictures to figure out what lens I really wanted to use and all.
This image was actually pitch black so I had to bring the exposure up in Lightroom.

 18mm focal length   -    f/3.5   -    ISO 100   -    30 seconds

I wanted to try shooting wide open so I put my 50mm lens on and shot at f/1.8 for 15 seconds (ISO 100)
And I still had to add some exposure to it...

I decided I didn't like the 50mm crop so I got my kit lens back on at 18mm and left it on 15 seconds, ISO 100, and f/3.5.
The image was still pitch black, so I began to figure that if I just put it on Bulb I could get start testing out longer exposures until I got the image right.

So I set my timer for about 8 min., I used the remote to open the shutter in Bulb mode, then I laid down beside my camera and star gazed. 

After about 4 min. there was this HISS that came from the grass not to far from me! It scared me out! of! my! wits!!! I'm not sure if it was a snake or some sort of a cat, but whatever it was got quite a loud reaction out of me, haha! I started stuttering/screaming to my mom who was in the car with the windows down, as I jumped back in the car leaving my camera out there with the shutter still open, lol. My mom heard it hiss again after I got in the car, so we shown our spot light out in the direction of my camera and beyond to see if we could see anything. At this point I'm thinking, "Great! we just ruined whatever picture I might have had, by shinning the light out there!" But I was still too frightened to really care. Then we backed the car up and shown the headlights in that direction too, and still didn't see anything, so I finally jumped out and got all of my gear. My mom and I were done! Haha!
I grabbed my camera without closing the shutter again because I was sure the picture was already ruined anyway, so I just pressed the shutter button as I hurriedly put my camera in the back seat, and we drove off.
When looked at the image on the LCD screen, I was like, "Wow, that's actually kinda cool..."
So this is what I got.
ISO 100    -   18mm   -   f/3.5   -   414 seconds (about 7 min.)

I was actually really surprised that I had the image perfectly focused on the stars, too. I had just guessed where the focus should be with manual focus. He! Not too shabby for a shot that could have gone wrong is so many more ways than one.
I just wish I could have gotten a longer trail... like a 45 min worth trail :D

Okay, now time for bed! :)

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