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Old     (bmr82)      Join Date: Jul 2008       10-16-2010, 2:09 PM Reply   
So I have been wanting to try one of these for a while now. To catch the movement of the stars. Shooting with Canon 30D. How are you guys setting up the camera for these exposures? Fstops? ISO? Lens? Filters? Any info would help.

Old     (ilikebeaverandboats)      Join Date: Jul 2007       10-16-2010, 3:39 PM Reply   
I cant give you exact settings but, just play around, its digital so what doesnt work, delete.
lens, something short most likely, depends on the effect you want.
i would just mess around and see what you get/like!

have fun with it, wish i was still into photo, kinda lost my motivation to stick with it.
Old     (Walt)      Join Date: Jan 2003       10-18-2010, 8:03 PM Reply   
Set your camera on manual then go to menu ...custom functions...long exposure noise reduction TURN on. (Note that the noise reduction feature will take longer for your camera to process...If you shoot a 30 sec exposure it will take a additional 30 sec for your camera to process the photo)

The higher your F/stop the longer your exposure. Your going to want to shoot on bulb for longer star trails. You can also take a bunch of shorter exposures and blend them together.
Old     (scott_a)      Join Date: Dec 2002       10-19-2010, 12:54 AM Reply   
Flickr is a great resource here:

in the top left corner of the photo is the 'actions' on it and select "View EXIF Info." This will show you all of the exposure information for the shot (unless the photographer has deleted it). Like Joey C said, the exact settings will vary WIDELY from location to location, so your best bet will be to find shots from this group that were takin in locations that are similar to where you'll be shooting. Then when you're out shooting just start playing around with the settings and delete the stuff that doesn't look good. It's really all trial and error...eventually with time you'll get better about picking the right exposure and at some point maybe you'll get what you want on your first try. But it does take a bit of time to get good at this sort of thing since there's no auto mode.
Old     (benbuchholz)      Join Date: Oct 2009       10-21-2010, 10:20 AM Reply   
You can either take one long exposure, or blend several 30 second exposures together. I did the second method, and here's how. Set up your camera where you want it, full manual mode, and then set your exposure to 30 seconds. If I remember right I had my iso up somewhat high so that it grabbed enough light from the stars. Just take one 30 second exposure, and see what it looks like. If it's the right lighting, you're good to go to take your long exposures. If not, change your F-stop until it is. Like he said, higher F-stop=less light through your aperture. once you get it figured out, just take 30 second exposures for however long you want, then blend the photos together in Photoshop, with "lighten" as your blend mode. Here's my result, this was over a 30 minute period, so it's 60 pictures blended together. The link below is to a video I made with the 60 images, another cool thing to do.

Edit: found the exif info.

exp: 30 secs
Aperture f/4.0
Focal Length 18 mm
ISO Speed 1600

Last edited by benbuchholz; 10-21-2010 at 10:22 AM.
Old     (pierce_bronkite)      Join Date: Jul 2003       10-21-2010, 12:31 PM Reply   
Very cool Ben. Did you set a transparency level in your photo layers or was it just set to Lighten?
Old     (benbuchholz)      Join Date: Oct 2009       10-21-2010, 12:40 PM Reply   
nope, "lighten" is all that was changed. what "lighten" is doing is pretty much just taking the brightest parts of each picture (the stars), and layering them together, while not affecting the darker parts, like the trees in that picture. Getting Polaris in frame makes these pictures even cooler, because the star trails become circles around it. Umali had a pretty cool star trail shot too, in The Photo Thread.
Old     (dcervenka)      Join Date: Sep 2002       10-21-2010, 4:56 PM Reply   
Shot in Lake Tahoe

Long exposure done in-camera using the Long Exposure Noise Reduction, so the total processing time was around two hours.

Used a mag flashlight to light paint the trees for approx 10 seconds/ea

Camera Info: Nikon D700 | 14mm(/2.8D) | /4.0 | 3692 sec | ISO 160

If you plan on doing the entire exposure in-camera then I suggest using a battery grip.
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