Fisheyed Urban Star Trails

October 16, 2012  •  Leave a Comment

Fisheyed Urban Star Trails FinalFisheyed Urban Star Trails Final

This was taken last Sunday 14 October from my back garden and is similar to 2 others I took earlier in the year. For this one I wanted to try it with my Fisheye Lens. One thing I did notice was that the stars seemed clearer and with less noise although that could have been a clearer sky. It was one of the few clear nights of late in-between the rain.

I used my Interval Timer and set the camera at ISO 200 and bulb and the timer at 2 minutes at f3.5. I set the timer for 1 hour 45 minutes but did not use the last 15 minutes due to condensation on the lens building up and causing flare from the neighbour’s lights. This is a really big advantage of blending a number of exposures for Star Trails rather than one long exposure. I went back in the house and left the Camera and timer to it during the exposures.

The images were stacked in Startrails.exe. During the exposures neighbours switched on and off lights so an exposure with a darker foreground was used with a layer mask for the foreground area.

The Timer has a small screen and here first the interval until the sequence starts is set, I choose 10 seconds. Then the exposure time is set. With a 1 second gap between exposures I choose 1 minute 59 seconds. Then the gap between exposures set to I second. Then the number of shots to be taken is set.

All the settings and equipment were as follows

- Sony A700 Camera.

- ISO 200, f3.5, 1 minute 59 seconds, 10mm.

- Long Exposure and high ISO noise reduction set to off. Otherwise the Camera would take One minute and 59 seconds between each shot for its own noise reduction resulting in great gaps in the Star Trails.

- Samyang Fisheye lens 8mm.

- Tripod.

- Interval timer

See this post for a review of this Timer http://edwinjonesphotography.com/blog/2012/5/timer-interval-remote-review

It would normally be very time consuming to blend all the pictures together but there is now free software available to do it for you. Search on Google for startrails.exe

The circular pattern is formed by pointing the camera towards Polaris the Pole Star near the Plough. As the Earth turns stars more above the pole do not appear to move as much as those more above lower latitudes.

Photoshop

To avoid too much light on the houses from different lights being switched on a single image from the stack was copied in with a layer mask and brush used to apply it only to the houses

More detail was brought in to the Trails with Topaz adjust with Vibrant preset group, Crisp Preset.

General adjustments in levels to enhance.

Vibrance increased.

Some areas were tidied up with the clone tool

Noiseware Pro was used to remove noise from the sky.

Layers flattened before going on to sharpening.

Second duplicate layer with mask to apply extra contrast with low amount and high radius using Unsharp mask (Clarity Effect) The settings were 55 amount and 55 radius. A mask was used to exclude the effect from some parts of the foreground.

The final image was copied on top of one of the original images to bring back in exif data which is removed during the stacking.

BEFORE AND AFTER

Below are the Before and After images. First one of the original images, then the image after stacking and then the final result after Topaz and Photoshop.

Original single image

Fisheyed Urban Star Trails Original Single ImageFisheyed Urban Star Trails Original

After stacking

Fisheyed Urban Star Trails StackedFisheyed Urban Star Trails Original Blend

Final Image

Fisheyed Urban Star Trails FinalFisheyed Urban Star Trails Final

Edwin Jones


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