First Star Rrails Photo - How to improve?

Parker219

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My goal was to get the north celestial pole, which I did, however that I think I can improve on this photo.

I don't think the stars look in focus really, and I know that is because of the long exposure, but still, they don't look that sharp.

I have the focus set to infinity, but maybe I need to adjust it still?

Before anyone says to find a better location, I know that, but this is for practice, so I can get my settings right before I mess up a several hour long photo session at the grand canyon.

This photo is 12 photos, each with a 5 minute long exposure, so about an hour worth of movement. Do you think 2 hours or 3 would be better? I stopped after an hour because it was 42 degrees outside and my D7200 camera felt really cold and I didn't know if it was bad to leave it outside longer.

I don't know if its better to do 120 photos with a 5 second exposure?

Star-trails-2-11.jpg
 

RichBrown

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I think it looks amazing. Personally the exposure seems spot on for me. I would just take the photo when it's a bit darker out. So there is more contrast between the stars and the backdrop. Awesome Awesome job!!! :)
 

jsecordphoto

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I haven't done any star trails in a long time but I always preferred shooting lots of 30 second exposures and stacking them using starstax, using the gap filling mode. I'd usually aim for around 100 photos. Less noise doing the shorter 30" exposures
 

KmH

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Streets

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My goal was to get the north celestial pole, which I did, however that I think I can improve on this photo.

I don't think the stars look in focus really, and I know that is because of the long exposure, but still, they don't look that sharp.

I have the focus set to infinity, but maybe I need to adjust it still?

Before anyone says to find a better location, I know that, but this is for practice, so I can get my settings right before I mess up a several hour long photo session at the grand canyon.

This photo is 12 photos, each with a 5 minute long exposure, so about an hour worth of movement. Do you think 2 hours or 3 would be better? I stopped after an hour because it was 42 degrees outside and my D7200 camera felt really cold and I didn't know if it was bad to leave it outside longer.

I don't know if its better to do 120 photos with a 5 second exposure?

View attachment 115718
You did very well considering all the ambient light you were dealing with. The only way to improve this image is to find a REALLY dark site where the Milky Way is obvious.
 

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