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Learn By Doing Photography

LBD Photography – Star Trails

Learn by Doing Photography – Practice your photography skills with weekly photography assignments. I will post a new assignment every Friday, you can post your pictures at the bottom of this post or on the DigitalCamFan Facebook. If you have any questions please refer to the guidelines, if you have no questions jump right in any time!

Learn by Doing Photography Assignment # 14 – Star Trails

Spring has sprung in Montana! When the sun comes out I feel like I come out with it! We have had wonderful weather for spring break this year! So on our recent trip to the Flathead Valley to celebrate Easter with my folks I also took the time to do a little star gazing! One night Cade and I hiked up the hill behind their house… so many stars out!

On a side note if you need a cool star app for your phone? SkyView Free is amazing! You can see where the sun is on the other side of the world, you can touch any star on the app to see the name, the constellations, it’s simply amazing! This picture my son and I took for fun, he is holding the iPhone in his hand as we look for constellations!

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Canon 60D ISO 6400 66. sec at f/4.5

I love taking pictures of stars, you can get pretty creative and have fun with it. Make sure you set your lens to infinity before you go shooting. Once your on location it’s pitch black and there will be nothing to focus your camera on. Bring a flashlight, and a blanket it’s still pretty cold out.

Items you will need:
Tripod
shutter release
blanket
flash light
pre-focused camera

I always take my first picture with the aperture wide open, high ISO for about 30 seconds just to make sure the horizon is lined up. It’s amazing how much light will show up on your picture! Once I have the composition I want, I bring my ISO back down, but usually leave the aperture.  The camera is set on Bulb, using the remote shutter I set the camera and and walk away for about 30 minutes.

The way I shoot star trails is very hit and miss, but fun. Watch this video below by Tony Northrup if you want to get some exact star trail tips! It’s amazing! I enjoyed this tutorial so much I need to go buy his book. He did an excellent job explaining in easy understandable way. I am going to try his technique next time I am out taking star trails. If you don’t have the software he uses don’t let that slow you down, you can still go out and take some star trails with your camera, just set it to bulb and go for it!

Here are a few more pictures from the night!
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Remember you can post your pictures at the bottom of this post or on the DigitalCamFan Facebook. If you have any questions please refer to the guidelines, if you have no questions jump right in any time!

Next Week Learn by Doing Assignment #15 – Photographing a Silhouette!



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Learn by Doing - 7 days 7 pictures
LBD Photography - How to photograph flowers
Learn by Doing Photography - Photographing Butterflies

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