Making star trails at night.



Making star trail images is always fun. They are time consuming and complicated to make but it is also difficult to find an interesting composition. For it to work, you really need to find a subject that is interesting just by itself, and gives the image a strong anchor. It helps if the main subject includes leading lines that direct the viewer.
When I new that I was going to be going to Reelfoot Lake, I used google maps and was looking for noteworthy features that I could use in some landscape images. I noticed that there were several long piers that lead into the water from shore, and I noticed that there was one that was basically facing north. Once we got to Reelfoot, we scouted the locations and decided that one pier in particular would work for what I was looking for. The weather conditions were horrible for us that evening, there was a very strong and very cold wind blowing from the north across the lake. I framed up the shot to include the North Star and the pier. Then set the timelapse at 30 seconds at f4, iso5000. Then I set it up to shoot with a one second pause between each exposure for 30 minutes. It was cold enough, that while the timelapse was running we waited in the car.

If it was not so miserable out, I probably would have shot several different shoots, or even tried to make some exposures that showed the Milky Way or more prominent constellations, but I was tired. I had been up driving and shooting since 4 am that morning and it was a little after 10:30pm (that was a little more than 14 hours of driving/scouting locations/shooting for one day). Follow the link here to read a more in-depth account of how to make images like these.



 from Ben King on Vimeo.

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