Star-trail photographs are positively ethereal and one of the most creative and fun types of images one can create. A beautiful star trail image often shows us the minisculeness of our being and the vastness of our universe.
There are two ways of shooting star trails – (1) a single exposure and (2) by merging multiple exposures. With the single exposure method, the exposure can last from a few minutes to a few hours. This method was the only option for photographers shooting star trails before the advent of digital cameras.
With this method, the shutter speed is set to Bulb option with the camera in manual mode. The Bulb mode assures that the shutter stays open as long as the release button is depressed. The ISO is set to a lower value so as to keep the noise levels in the image to a minimum and the wider the aperture, the brighter the star trails that are captured. Additionally, the larger the exposure, the longer the star trails. The picture below was captured with a 30 min exposure.
The second method involves taking a series of short exposure images and then stacking them together using a software like Lightroom. The biggest advantage of using this method is the ability to not choose a certain frame which may not be up to the standard. Additionally, this method does not require long exposure noise reduction to be switched on.
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