December 2011
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Tips and techniques for photographing star trails ..

Tip 931 (Keep the camera stable, use a tripod or something stable): This seems like a very obvious item for somebody who has shot star trails, but I keep on getting astounded at the number of people who want to shoot star trails and then don’t have a tripod. A star trail captures the movement of stars in the night sky, and this will take time, so you need to keep the camera stable and not moving for that entire period of time, which is why you need a tripod.
Tip 932 (You need to have a camera that allows the settings for a star trail): Using a point and shoot camera that does not allow you to manipulate its settings can make it difficult to shoot star trails. Typically, you need a camera where the shutter can be kept open for long periods of time (the Bulb (B)) mode. Typically, you should be able to capture the focusing of your camera (that is, it should not be a auto-focus only camera). Similarly, the camera batteries should be able to power the camera for the desired time (older batteries sometimes are not able to retain charge for long intervals).
Tip 933 (Adjust the tripod as per the camera): I saw this happen once. A person thought he had everything, including his trusty tripod. He forgot that he had borrowed a better (and heavier) SLR camera along with a good wide lens (which was also heavy), and his tripod was just not able to keep the camera stable enough in the light wind that was blowing.
Tip 934 (Get a shutter release): If your camera has a shutter release, get it. A camera release is invaluable when you have to keep the shutter release of your camera open for a long interval. You will never regret it.
Tip 935 (Check for when the moon is almost gone): When shooting star trails, you should try and ensure that there is as little light in the sky as possible (besides the twinkle of the starts themselves). You can be sure that if you are shooting when the moon is large and bright, it can overshadow a lot of objects in the night sky.

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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