October 18, 2017
Star Trails, Bisti Wilderness, New Mexico, USA
Bisti Wilderness, New Mexico, USA
Canon EOS 1D X Mk II; 17 TS; 1/2, 1/4, 1/8, & 15 sec and 18x 12 min; f9.5; ISO 200
Image taken on October 16, 2017. Click here or on the image to order.
This is the second star trail image I've made on this trip, and I changed how I photographed them from my first experience three years ago. The first thing I did differently was to use chemical hand warmers and an extra beanie to help keep the camera battery warm overnight. For this image, I used six hand warmers and it got down to about 40°F (4°C) overnight. The second thing I did differently was to set up the Canon Timer Remote Controller TC-80N3 to wait for 1.5 hours, then take a series of 12 minute exposures with only 5 seconds in between instead of 10 seconds like before. Also, after taking the foreground images, I put a fresh battery in the camera before starting the timer sequence.
I also changed how I processed the images. I processed the star images through Capture One with zero saturation (for B&W) and increased contrast like before, but this time I performed some noise reduction too. Then I loaded the images into Photoshop with the blending mode set to Lighten on all but the bottom image. Then I flattened the layers and ran Camera Raw noise reduction because all of that Lightening enhanced the remaining noise from the individual images. Then I performed "dust removal" to get rid of hot pixels and what was probably an airplane flying through the composition. Then I flattened it to have a single layer. After manually blending the foreground images, I brought in the star trails image and set its blending mode to Linear Dodge (Add).
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