Damflask At Night

Damflask At Night

Night Time Photography – Star Trail Trial

Damflask At Night

I have had several attempts at star trails, and this is another trial. The moon was setting on crescent, after Venus put up another bright show in the western sky and decided to set. I was hoping for a much clearer night, as there was still some clouds, wispy cirrus skirting the northern sky. I kept wondering if I should turn my camera to the southern sky. Even for  this amount of cloud and light pollution I was still pleased with the overall outcome; I liked all the vehicle trail lights, they help put some scope into the picture. I used one of the turrets for a little foreground interest. This is quite near to the drop zone for the Loxley River. We were quite close, even in the relatively pitch dark…..We used a torch to light paint the turret in the first 30 second exposure. I then managed to squeeze in another 101 before taking 2 dark frames. I used my lens at 17mm (equivalent to 28mm on my crop frame) set to infinity with f5.6 at ISO200 to keep the noise down. I used a cable release with lock, set the camera on to continuous shooting, set the time for 30 seconds. Once I set the cable release the camera continuously shot 30 second exposures. It was after 52 minutes when I decided to stop, to the relief of my partner whose feet were complaining.

For editing, I experimented with StarStax but the results were disappointing and they kept loading the numbers up incorrectly so I reverted to Adobe Bridge and from there I loaded layers into CS6, used lighten in the blend mode before merging the layers; saved and re-opened up in Lighroom for final edits. I initially opened all the frames up in Lighroom for lens correction/aberrations and some noise removal on the first frame before syncing these settings on all 104 exposures.

All I want now is clear night around the next new moon and bigger sky, and push for longer than 52 minutes….