Stars over Shenandoah

It’s Labor Day weekend in the Shenandoah Valley and it’s  packed with tourists escaping to the country to enjoy the fresh air, nature and sunshine.  I wonder how many of them noticed the night sky?



I used a low ISO to cut down on “noise” – but this means a 30 second exposure.  The stars look blurry but if you look closely you’ll see that they are all tiny lines, due to the earth’s rotation while the camera shutter is open.  I took a series of photos that link all of these tiny lines together and form star ‘trails’.

I started by locating the north star.  In the northern hemisphere this forms the point around which all of the other stars rotate.  Then I found a stationary object on earth to make the picture more interesting.  We’re in a cabin surrounded by trees that are constantly moving, so the cabin’s chimney was the best I could come up with.  I took 81 photos over a series of about 45 minutes that all looked about like this:


I plugged them into Lightroom to doctor them up a little and then used Startrails to stack them all, and came up with two different versions.  Which is better?

Star TrailsStar Trails

For more detail on how this can be done, see my previous post on the same subject.  The photos came out much better this time, however.


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