December 2011
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Tips and techniques for photographing star trails (contd) ..

Tip 936 (Understanding what causes star trails): You see those beautiful star trails, and it seems like the movement of stars causes the whole beautiful effect. In fact, what your open camera shutter (and the sensor inside) captures is the movement of the earth, since the stars are stationary, while the movement of the earth causes the apparent movement of the stars.
Tip 937 (Make sure that you account for extra cold): This is less of a photography tip, but something very important. Most of the time, when you are trying to shoot star trails, this will be in a more open area, and at night, or at a place at a certain height. These places will be colder than your regular habitation, so keep some extra warm clothes.
Tip 938 (Stay away from civilization): Unless you are capturing the star trails against some sort of building, keep away from any places with a lot of light. You do not realize the amount of ambient light in a city unless you start taking such photos. The ambient light in a city can totally drown out the light of the stars and making the trails in your photo not easy to capture.
Tip 939 (Setting the focus to infinity): If you are not using an object in your photo (such as an old building or a tree or something else that forms the foreground (with the star trails appearing in the background)), then it is safe to simply set the focus in your photos to infinity. This also makes logical sense since the stars on which you are apparently focusing on are very far away indeed.
Tip 940 (Do not have any light source in your photo): For taking star trails, the composition of your photo should not (and repeat not) have any kind of light source in the photo (even of this is a surface that reflects light from someplace else), since such a light source will cause the photo to get blown out because of the long exposure of the photo.

Some video tutorials from Youtube:

During The Shoot Episode 1: Star Trail Photography

Star Trails Photography

How to Photograph Stars and Meteor Showers

Aputure Timer Camera Remote Control Shutter Cable The Photoshop Darkroom: Creative Digital Post-Processing
Wallmonkeys Peel and Stick Wall Decals – A View of Star Trails

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