gary - the big yellow glowing spots are the fireflies. easily cloned out (along with the airplane lights) but i kinda liked them. getting into startrails is easier than you think. if your camera is capable of shooting continuous frames over a period of time and you have a tripod you can do it. i used a locking cable release and manual focus to infinity. www.Startrails.de-Home has a good tutorial with exposure value settings as well as freeware that does a pretty good job of stacking the photos for you. i use actions from star circle academy which does a better job with jaggies and offers more options, such as comet looking star trails.
amanda - i lit the tower over two frames using the surefire g2 which is a tactical flashlight. i chose that flashlight because it offers a simple light pattern and a small radius of light which helps control light bleeding over to other places when dealing with small areas. it's also a cooler color light than most flashlights so i don't need to balance the white balance foreground light painting with the sky. in photoshop i layered the two layers with light painting and masked in the best parts of each foreground.
Oh, as in the title! Oops! That makes me like it even more, don't have them here in Ireland so I guess I just blanked the word when I had read it. I agree they do add a dimension to the picture that makes you think twice about it. Light painting on the tower looks great too, gives it a silky looking texture or something. Very nice.
Have done a lot of reading/watching about night photography in general but am limited by the body I'm using, I hope to get something a little more capable soon. There are a lot of monastic ruins near where I live that date back a thousand years so they should provide some interesting star and light painting shots.
thanks for the comments. i do my edits to the first raw file and then copy the edits to the rest of the files. i used star circle academy actions to take care of the stacking. then i went back to lightroom and re-edited my two light painting shots for the foreground. copied them in as layers onto the stacked star trails file in photoshop and masked in the bits of foreground i wanted.