A First

I attempted a little star motion tonight just to see what it would look like.  Unfortunately, conditions were a little hazy and there was not much visibility at and up to about ten degrees above the eastern horizon.    So I pointed the camera to the southwest toward the City of Sandpoint.   I’m not certain I would do that again for a long exposure without some type of filter attached.  I think the city lights are kind of blown out in this shot.    I think that I might try this again tomorrow night, wait until later in the night and aim right at Polaris.    See what you got me into Rob?

All in all though, not too bad though for a first attempt.

Canon EOS T1i, 13 minute exposure @ f/5; ISO 100
Image Stabilization Off and Mirror Lock Engaged

You might have also noted that I have done away with the signature/watermark on the images. I’m not certain that they are even a necessity anymore. After all, one can steal about anything anyway and even watermarks can be removed with a patient hand so what’s the purpose?

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4 responses

  1. Mike, this is a brilliant image. I like the light and reflections on the lake combined with the star trails. I think it is fantastic when an already good photographer tries something that is technically different and challenging. Do you feel like you stretched your skills in a new direction?

    September 24, 2011 at 1:33 AM

    • Mike

      This was definitely a stretch for me Tim. I had never tried anything like it. I initially thought that the city lights were a little blown out but in retrospect, I think that it actually adds to the overall feel of the shot. I still believe that should I shoot toward city again, I would filter down the city lights just to see the difference.

      One of my other feelings about this shot is that the “blown out” city lights overshadow the star trails; which was what I was really after anyway. I will try it another night in a totally dark environment.

      Have I stretched my skills? If by this you mean “did I learn anything” then the answer is definitely yes!

      September 24, 2011 at 9:31 PM

  2. This is great for your first go at star trails Mike, I wish mine had turned out so well! Since I’m really seeing the post a little late you may already know this bit…shoot your star trail in a frame with no other lights but with a darkened foreground subject then light paint the subject in one or more separate frames. Blend everything together in PS and you’ve got almost complete control.

    October 14, 2011 at 4:32 AM

    • Mike

      Hi Curt. Thanks for the comments, advice and your valuable input. I knew about the no light rule going in and this was the perfect night since it was a new moon. My perfection was ruined by a haze on the horizon. The only direction clear enough to try it was this one. Fortunately, it wasn’t a complete wash. I actually have a spot picked out on the shoreline where there is a beautiful old fossilized slag pile to put into the foreground that would look very lovely “painted”.

      When I went back out the next night (a little later), the clouds had come out and there hasn’t been a clear night since.

      Oh well, next summer maybe! 😀

      October 14, 2011 at 11:08 PM

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