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Ramblings of an Amateur Photographer

Star Trails

StarTrail-HangingRock

While putting the finishing touches on a presentation for the upcoming workshop on shooting the night sky, I headed out to Hanging Rock State Park in North Carolina to bush up on my shooting techniques.  The moon was waxing crescent, which meant it was just starting the cycle into a full moon, which made things pretty bright. The moon set about 10 pm which allows for some good night shooting.  The Astronomy group from the area was out helping the park with some demonstrations. I found the north star (Polaris) pointed my camera at it and framed up a shot. It was pretty windy and not much in the foreground to add interest, but it turned out ok. In order to get a full circle you need an hour to four hours of non stop photos. I set up my camera to do 12 exposures at 5 minutes each (which adds up to an hour). I then stacked the images using StarStax to get the image.

Here's one I shot while at the Nikon school learning about video in Williamsburg, VA. A lot more light pollution there.