22.01.12, Week 23: Star Trails

by pbnb

This week’s been pretty hard, I said goodbye to my girlfriend until the end of March and had the first of my two exams the following day. Before she left, we had a lovely meal at her Godmother’s house which has an abundance of open space and lots of trees. The night was incredibly clear, which made it the perfect time to make another attempt at the latest technique I’ve been trying to master, star trails.

I’ve made a few attempts over the last couple of weeks, and they haven’t been too successful. This one’s not brilliant either, but I haven’t taken anything else this week so I wanted to put it up in place of an archive image. The photograph above is a composite of six six minute exposures that are stacked using Photoshop. The problem with this shot is that I was lazy; I couldn’t be bothered to walk to the end of their grounds that  isn’t affected by the light from the cars going past. The passing cars meant that different parts of the trees that fringe the bottom of the frame were highlighted during the different shots. In turn, this has caused what looks like camera shake as the trees are effectively in different positions in each exposure.

I finally managed to get the aperture/exposure/ISO variables close to being right, my other attempts have been too dark, but the ISO might be a bit high in this one. The other images I made in Photoshop have also been a combination of too many images; I think less is more here, otherwise there are too many lines and it doesn’t look right. If the trees didn’t appear to be blurred I’d be almost completely happy with the image, but that’s just a case of making sure I pick the right foreground to the image in the future, and not being lazy.

My housemate has just bought himself a DSLR, albeit a Canon, so I’m looking forward to being able to go out taking pictures together. My final exam is this Tuesday and I don’t start lectures until the following Monday so we will have a fair bit of time to go to the places I haven’t wanted to go by myself. Hopefully next week’s image will be something along those lines, something a bit different to what I’ve put up so far.

I’m currently in the process of adding a Gallery page to this blog so that people can have a look at the images without necessarily looking at the individual posts. I thought it might make the blog a bit more accessible to people who aren’t that interested in my ramblings. It should also provide a quick and easy way to see an overview of my images. I might get it finished tonight, but if not, look out for it in the next couple of days. I’ve also reuploaded all of the photos so that they have a border, are a of a uniform pixel size, are named by the date they were taken and are all in the same format. I’m sure that won’t make the slightest bit of difference to any of you, but it was bothering me that my watermark wasn’t showing up properly.


This week I’ve discovered an artist I haven’t heard of before, Noah Gundersen. His music is used in a few episodes of a TV series I’ve been fairly addicted to lately, Sons of Anarchy, and I instantly took a liking to it. I heard ‘Family’ at the end of one of the episodes this week, and have since read that I will hear ‘David’ during a fairly dramatic part of this series’ conclusion. The music is pretty cut back, a singer, guitar, sometimes a violin and the odd bit of simple drumming. It’s the lyrics that really attracted me, they’re incredibly emotive and visual. I hope you enjoy it as much as I have so far.


      • Date taken: 16.01.12
      • Aperture: f/7.1
      • Speed: 360 sec
      • ISO: 500
      • Focal length: 18mm