I’ve been fascinated, okay maybe obsessed, with working on my star trail photography technique. From the various websites and blogs I read (Goldpaint Photography, Dan Heller, and Paul Gardner Photography) there are a few common methods for capturing those amazing images of the heavens above.
One option is to simply put your camera in bulb mode, open your shutter, wait for a while, then close your shutter. The earth and stars will do all of the work for you.
Then I started finding some amazing images where the photographers would take a photograph, leaving the shutter open for 30 seconds, then repeat the process, hundreds of times. Next you stack the photographs together to create one image (see the websites above for some amazing examples). The process sounds tedious and arduous, but right up my ally.
So where are all my photographs? I stopped taking nighttime star trail images in this winter for several reasons. First and the most obvious: its been cold here in New York and as much as I love the cold weather, I’m not a big fan of standing in my driveway in 15 degree temperatures. Secondly, the cold temperatures reduced the lifespan of my batteries and I really didn’t want to freeze my butt off for nothing if (and when) my shots were lost to dead batteries.
But most of all, I really got into doing these types of images with Koda. She would hang out with me and keep me company as I experimented with my camera in the dead of night. Since her death at Thanksgiving, I haven’t had the desire to get back outside by myself. With warmer nights and the pain of her loss hurting a little less, the craving to experiment has returned.
As the Waxing Gibbous moon creeps closer to being full, I will charge my batteries, clean my lenses and get ready to head back out into a moonless night sky in search of capturing some great images.