star trails

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by youyesyou, Dec 27, 2004.

  1. youyesyou

    youyesyou TPF Noob!

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    i just got a canon ae-1 for christmas. i've been toying around with it for the last few days and testing it out. it's really the first time i've ever gotten my hands on on a manual 35mm camera. i'm having a lot of fun.

    anyhow, i've been messing around with the long exposure capabilities all day. tomorrow, we're supposed to have a clear night sky, and i'd like to take a super long exposure of it (not sure how long. i'm thinking a few hours) to get some cool star trail shot or two. only, i'm still learning a lot about f-stops and the like, so i was wondering if any of you who have done something like this can give me any tips for night time photography. it would be much appreciated.
     
  2. e_

    e_ TPF Noob!

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    Hello "y-y-y"

    Here's a couple of pointers:

    * Use a stable tripod. Add weights if unsure

    * An aperture of f8 should be fine, combined with your suggested "few hours" exposure

    * I'm not familar with the Canon AE-1 but will presume you have a remote release which can lock the shutter open

    * Depending on whether or not your location is the Northern/Southern Hemisphere, point the camera into the night sky facing your nearest Pole. This will emphasise the rotational motion of our planet

    * Your forecast is for a clear night tomorrow - ideal! - but the current moon's phase may cause a problem with "light pollution" ... as might any other light source such as city lights

    * Importantly, takes notes of what you do in each shot; they will be your greatest teacher

    Have fun!

    :)

    e_

    EDIT: typo
     
  3. cmptrdewd

    cmptrdewd TPF Noob!

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    The idea of getting star trails is COOL!
    But I have a digital and can't leave the shutter open for more than 15 sec.
    O well, too bad :cry:
     
  4. DIRT

    DIRT TPF Noob!

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    Awsome! the AE-1 is a great camera, i have one. definately get a cable release as said before. go to a dark place away from the city. in southern california this is a daunting task in itself. what lens do you have for the cam?
     
  5. youyesyou

    youyesyou TPF Noob!

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    adjsflkjasdoifuwe at jasfijasdflk!!! the weather man was soooo wrong about the the sky. i couldn't see a single star past all the clouds. i'm hoping that tonight will be a better night to try it.

    i don't reallly have lights to contend with. i live in a neighborhood far away from city lights. the only thing i have to contend with is the interstate street lamps. but that's okay because all i have to do is move to the backyard to get away from them.

    oh, and yes. i picked up a shutter release just a day before i posted this. it's wonderful.

    i absoloutley adore my ae-1. it's so much fun! as far as lenses go, i have a canon FD 50mm 1:1.8, a vivitar 70-210mm 1:4.5, a canon fd 28mm 1:2.8, and a vivitar 70-150mm 1:3.8. i appologize if wrote the names of the lenses out wrong. i've never really wrote them out before, so i just read what was printed on the lens and went to town.

    i also got more filters than i know what to do with. though three of them are uv filters and another is a skylight filter. but i do have a polarizing filter and three magnification filters.

    thanks for your help on this subject. i shall take your tips to mind when i finally get around to taking the shots.
     

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