Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Layered Star Trails with Twilight Venus Moon Conjunction

I really like star trail shots with a little bit of color or clouds in the sky, but obviously any long exposure shots of sunset or clouds will result in a bright blurry nothing. So, to compose this image I layered an appropriately exposed twilight image of the Moon with Venus, then left my camera in the exact same position until dark (after Venus and the Moon had set). Then I took star trail images like normal. I layered the images together in Photoshop and adjusted the colors.

I think if I had to do it again I would take a lighter "base" image at twilight and let the stars shine through just a bit, rather than having a primarily dark sky with just a hint of sunset. It turned out pretty much like I planned - maybe some more clouds next time for something more interesting, and less air traffic gosh darn it!

star trail and twilight
Layered and adjusted image. It would be more whimsical without the planes!
star trail and planes
Basic star trail image, about 270 frames with Canon Rebel XT, colors and contrast adjusted in Photoshop
moon venus at twilight
Base twilight image, original color, 18mm, ISO 200, 5 sec, f/4.5

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