Shooting Star trails

August 28, 2013  •  Leave a Comment


Hello friends, Here is a blog on how to shoot Star trails.... hope you enjoy it :) 

Details:- Stack of 140 shots with 30 sec exposures stacked together


Things you need:- 

1) Wide Angle lens (preferred).. If not, 18-55 lens does a good job.. 

2) Remote cable release .. in order to shoot in continous mode... If your camera has a feature which does that .. then its good enough...

3) Torch.. if the light is less... and to paint the subject

4) Tripod is MUST (This should be the number 1 in the list, anyways.... )

5) Patience ... :)

6) Water .. Eatables ... as u get ample amount of wait time when the camera is slogging :) 

7) Warm clothes .. as it might be cold at night... 

Details:- Stack of 146 shots with 30 sec exposure

Details:- Stack of 46 images...f/4, ISO400, 30sec, 18mm focal... Tungsten WB.... 

Steps to follow:-

1) Mount camera on tripod

2) Prepare the frame with some nice subject in foreground... like trees, temple, hills etc... and keep the clear sky in background with stars visible.

3) Try pointing to North or Pole star to get a circular trail..

4) Keep the camera settings similar as follows:-

a) Aperture: Set it somewhere around F4 to F11 depending upon the light 

b) ISO: 100 or 200

c) Shutter Speed: I don't recommend BULB mode.. Instead use 30sec

d) White Balance: Auto or Tungsten

e) Focusing: Set focus to Manual / Infinity...

f) Click in JPEG - quality Fine or Normal. Avoid RAW format to reduce the post processing work.

5) Take a test shot with the settings.. check if all stars are in focus..

6) Once you are ready... Start shooting in continuous mode... for about 1 - 1.5 hours... 

7) Till the time camera is doing it's work .. You just chill out.. just check in between if All is Well ... if the dew is visible on the lens after sometime.. slowly wipe it off with a clean soft cloth... (don't use your hanky or you will make it more wet if u have a running nose :P) 

8) Also you can click 2-3 shots in bulb mode with say 1 or 2 min exposure to get more light on the subject.. or you can use a torch to paint the subject. 

9) Now that you have about 150-160 odd shots .. now you have to stack them together... you can do it in Photoshop .. or there is a free star trails software which can be used to stack all the images... 

Here is the link:-

Its very easy to do it... let me know if you face any problems.


Details:- Stack of 42 images..... f/4, ISO400, 30sec, 18mm focal


More Photos:- 

You can check some of my old star trails shot



I have created a time lapse video of stars. Do check it out.

Note:- All the above steps are written by me. So please also google to get more info :)



~ RJ


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