Star Trails in the City

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Hey guys.
It's 1 Degree Celsius here and for some stupid reason I had a sudden impulse to attempt star trails for the first time.
Aside from venturing out of town to avoid lights, any tips?

9423125312_820851d4ea_c.jpg
 

ronlane

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I'm no expert at this and really haven't tried it myself, but most of the star trails that I see, you don't get as much or any land showing, just the sky.
 

Tailgunner

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Pretty neat.

I've been thinking about trying this out my self. So how did you set up for it?

As for ideas, I'm thinking about trying a Polarized filter to help cut down on the ambient light...I'll be shooting using a muh brighter cityscape type background.
 

Patrice

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I'm no expert at this and really haven't tried it myself, but most of the star trails that I see, you don't get as much or any land showing, just the sky.

On the contrary, star trail images tend to have a lot more impact and drama when elements of the landscapes are included. As for the trails themselves: longer is better. To get them you need really long exposures, or a few stacked shorter ones. The earth rotates once in 24 hours so even with a 1 hour exposure your star trails will only be a short arc, 1/24th of a circle or only 15 degrees of arc.
 

oojuxeoo

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I like this, the only thing I see mucking it up are those clouds, you can kind of see the sequential pattern of them going across the sky. I just got an intervalometer and started playing with it. Did you use stack your photos, and how long of exposures and delay between?
 

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I have never gotten any shots like these but I would love to, I like the fact that its not just the sky in the photo, I think that makes it much better. The symmetry of the dock is incredible as well. Overall this is a great photo in my opinion.
 
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Yeah I always wanted to do it with a foreground for more impact. Honestly when I left the house I thought it was to cloudy and considering I was in town I thought the light pollution would be to strong. I just wanted to take 15 mins of Images and practice stacking them to see how long a 15 min star trail was. So I'm extremely happy considering my expectations.
I used a cable release and just hit the shutter every time I heard the shutter close. Was to cold to do anymore than 15 mins but I'll get a intervalometer and do it for hours one day.
There was 26 usable photos out of the 30 30 second exposures at f/5 1000 ISO. Stacked them in CS6 trying the maximum Statistics script and layer stacking/lighten.
It only took me 2 photos to get everything symmetrical, made me feel pretty good. It was .28degrees out in photo shop Haha!
 

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I like this; it's got something a little different from the regular 'star trail' shot...
 

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