Wide Angle Star Trail
Photo captured overnight 26th/27th March 2020 in my back garden. South Leicestershire, East Midlands.
A week of clear skies and warm weather in the UK continue to present opportunity to get outside at night with the camera, during these unprecedented times amidst the Covid-19 crisis.
Last night was limited to 8 hours of exposures (to fit around the NHS National clap and ISS flyover) once again showing Earth's spin as shown through the stars. Spinning around the North Pole star 'Polaris' this composite image comprises around 2000 exposures captured from sundown on the 26th through to daylight on 27th March.
BEHIND THE LENS
Camera:- Olympus OM-D EM-5 (mk1)
To capture this scene I wanted to really stretch the wide angle of spin around Polaris (the North star). This ensures the full star-spinning effect, and use the fence line to lead the eye into the composition. I mounted the camera on a tripod and set up the composition, set the focus to manual and shot a few test images. After checking sample shots, using LCD screen, and using the remote cable (set to lock - which forces the camera to shoot continuous exposures) I set the camera off. This allowed the camera to shoot continuous for 8 hours. For power the camera with battery pack will give you about 5/6 hours so to get more I hooked up a power extension lead from the house. For more remote working I use a Deep cycle 12v battery (with investor) which lasts all night easily! The fence, foreground and tree was lit up using a technique called light painting. During the first few exposures I shone a strong torch over the tree and 'painted' with light. This brings daylight to a 'No Light' scene.
Post processing I transferred all images to MAC and imported in stacking software (Star Stax - free) to produce a single composite image. One thing you will get when shooting these multiple composite images is plane trails running across the image. It can spoil the final composite. However during this Covid-19 crisis skies are pretty much devoid of airplanes which makes life much easier.
The resulting image reveals 8 hrs of Earth spinning, as shown through the stars and which cannot be seen with the human eye at any single moment. So go on, have a go :-)