Taken on halloween in the fine company of Freja and Bruffy. On route we didn't think we'd get a shot at this as the sky was a blanket of cloud, but within minutes of arriving the cloud just disappeared and we decided to give it a go.
I've had significant trouble in the last few years working out how to do star trails digitally. The problem is usually one of noise - long exposures can often cause the sensor to heat and temp is one of the main casues of digital noise. Perhaps others may therefore find this useful:
The technique needed here is called 'stacking'. Basically you need to take lots of shorter exposures then stack them digitally. Here we have 126 30sec exposures. 125 stacked using the 'Star Trails' software freely available on the net. And the last using Photoshop. The last image included the light painting of the fore ground and mid ground, I added this seperately as I wanted to manipulate this image before compiling the final image. Once I edited this painted layer the resulting 'stacked' photo from the Star Trails software was then added using the 'Lighten' blending mode in the layer palette (note before adding this image adjust the levels and curves to really bring out the stars - there will be far more than you first think, but be careful not to push too far as this results in noise).
Final tweaks included some curves adjustments, sharpening, and noise control (deleting the sharpening from the sky). Frame added and Bobs your uncle a star trail.
Now the question is - was it worth it? (Please view large)
PS Fully expecting this to bomb as the thumbnail is not up to much.
Landscape and travel
Flash and lighting
Angi_Wallace, janehewitt, jdenman and 54 more