Saturday, April 26, 2014

Learning Depth of Field: Star Trails with a Lego Astronaut

My goal was to have my Lego astronaut standing in the foreground with swirling star trails behind him. However, with the huge distance between the Lego man and the stars, and the short distance between the Lego man and the camera, I just couldn't get both at crisp focus at the same time. In other words, I couldn't get a deep enough depth of field to have both the stars and Lego man in focus. I tried increasing the f-number (decreasing the aperture) but I still couldn't quite get it.

Lego astronaut figure
My "ideal" composition was nowhere close to getting both the stars and Lego man in focus at the same time. This shot at f/16, 25 sec, ISO 3200, 34mm
star trails with lego figure
I settled on this composition as a compromise, the Lego astronaut isn't in sharp focus, but if you know what you're looking at it's passable. This shot at f/10, 25 sec, ISO 1600, 18mm
lego moon man star trails
The final image, 186 frames stacked in StarStaX software

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