…and the DJ Played All Night Long by Rolenz
I’m always awestruck when I see a photograph of star trails. Like macro photographs, they show you things that your eyes can’t see on their own as well as show off the sexiness of photography. While star trails can be captured with both film and digital cameras, digital gives you the advantage of creating a multiple exposure composite photo like the one above. This shot, taken with a Nikon D90 near Skyline Drive, has an accumulated exposure time of about 60 minutes and is composed of twelve, 5 minute long exposures, taken at f/3.5, ISO 200, 18mm (according to the photographer). Had this been shot with film, you would have to pray that your exposure was long enough to create the trails while not blowing out the light of the sunset.
Star trail photography takes a little bit of skill and a whole lot of patience. You will definitely need a tripod of some sort, and make sure you have something in the foreground to make the shot more interesting. Minimize the ambient light by getting as far away from city lights as you can and by shooting on a night with little to no moon. You’ll likely want to use a wide angle lens and a big aperture to let in as much light as possible, and a low ISO setting to minimize noise. If you have star trail photos of your own to share, leave them in the comments.