My first attempts at star trails

Despite the fact that I have dabbled at various times with different aspects of astrophotography, albeit in a very amateur way, I have never had a crack at star trails.

Knowing that we would have a clear, if cold, evening last night, I prepared for my first attempt.

  1. Download Photo Pills app to phone, and figure out how it works.. It is great.
  2. Download Starstax to PC for stacking the images. This works well too, and is fun to watch as it builds the finished product.
  3. Prep the camera
    1. Charge battery, dig out remote release cable
    2. Set to manual everything, exposure, focus, ISO, you name it.
    3. Gaffer tape the focus ring to avoid accidently knocking it
    4. Switch off IS
    5. Mount to tripod

As I mentioned it was very cold out, at least by Vancouver standards, so I bundled up in several layers, brewed some coffee and took the camera outside for 10 mins to acclimatize to the temperature

I took this opportunity figure out my exposure settings.

Next I used the photo pills app to pretty much aim at the Polaris, and then cranked up Yes – The Yes album, and toughed it out for 30 mins.

The resulting image was pretty good for a first attempt ( click image for full picture )

64 images, 20sec each, ISO 160, 17mm F2.8, Canon 70D

Intervalometer is already ordered so I don’t have to freeze my nuts off on the next attempt.

Next stop is getting some foreground interest in the image as well.



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