Edwin Jones

Edwin Jones

Posted on 04/06/2012

Photo taken on April  5, 2012

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Star Trails Star Trails


north star
Long exposure
star trails
north pole
wide angle
Bognor Regis

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Urban Area Star Trails

Urban Area Star Trails
The Shot

Note there is no Exif info for this shot as the Startrails stacking software removes it.

This shot is a little out of order. It was taken nearly 2 weeks ago in the time of warm weather and perfectly clear skies. I took this in my back garden as a trial for urban star trails before taking the shot of Chichester Cathedral.

More trails were gained for this one as I live near the edge of an urban area rather than in the middle as in the Chichester shot.
This was 2 hour and 4 minutes of 30 second shots so 248 images. These were later combined in Startrails.exe.I first composed and found the North Star with the Google Sky Map App. Then I set the camera to continuous mode and used a wireless shutter release to lock the shutter so the exposures were taken continuously without needing to touch the Camera
- Sony A700.
- ISO 800, f4.5, 30 seconds, 10mm.
- Sigma 10-20 lens.
- Tripod.
- Wireless Shutter Release
This was the easiest Star Trails shot I have taken with no boring and cold waiting. Just set up, set the sequence going with the remote and go inside to the warmth and watch telly.
For a lot more detailed advice for generally taking Star Trails and specially Urban Star Trails see the description of my previous Star Trails picture of Chichester Cathedral at www.flickr.com/photos/edwinjones/7028799465/

I had one problem in that during the exposures neighbours were occasionally switching on bright lights especially one behind me bringing far too much light into the foreground. I solved this by taking the brightly lit ones out of the stack for startrails.exe and then doing a separate stack of those. From the resulting image I used the quick selection tool to select just the sky. This was then pasted as a new layer into the main image with a darker foreground. The lighten blend mode was used for the layer so both sets of star trails combined.

General adjustments in curve, levels and brightness layers to enhance the star trails with layer masks to exclude the foreground. Tip while the layer mask is selected hold down Alt while dragging the mask from one adjustment layer to another and click yes to the dialog “replace layer mask” That way you can say mask the foreground in the levels mask and then drag it to the Curves layer and get the same mask.

Noiseware Pro and then Clarity effect, Unsharp mask 40 amount and 40 radius

Some tidy up with the clone tool.

The final tiff image was opened in Camera Raw and the colour temperature adjusted to bring down yellows a little and add some extra clarity.


For Licensing and more pictures see Edwin Jones Photography

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