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Thought I'd share a couple of star trails images obtained recently......

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Both are moonlit scenes in Caithness. Left hand image is at the Stacks of Duncansby and the right hand image shows Westerdale Mill.

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Very good. Was the Moon out to get the landscape that bright? They look as if they were taken in daylight.

I'm a little confused as to why the star trails are oval, how did you get that effect please?

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Thanks Bunnygod1 and Knight of Clear Skies - glad you like them.

Very good. Was the Moon out to get the landscape that bright? They look as if they were taken in daylight.

I'm a little confused as to why the star trails are oval, how did you get that effect please?

They were taken on separate nights, but each time the moon was at least three quarters illuminated, bathing the countryside in light. Exposure times were 60s at f/3.5 and ISO 400 in both cases, so you can see it was fairly bright - little need for a head torch except in the shadow.

As for the oval shape in the star trails I'm not sure, but I put it down to the lens being a wide angle variety with a 102 degree wide field of view (Sigma 10-20mm). I'm sure there will be much more knowledgeable folks on this forum that can explain.

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As for the oval shape in the star trails I'm not sure, but I put it down to the lens being a wide angle variety with a 102 degree wide field of view (Sigma 10-20mm). I'm sure there will be much more knowledgeable folks on this forum that can explain.

Would that make it a semi-fisheye lens? It makes for an interesting effect but if the Earth starts spinning like that then I want to get off. ;)

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Lovely pics. I actually quite like the oval effect. I suppose it's the same kind of thing that causes converging verticals in architecture when you tilt a wide lens upwards. I suppose if you wanted to tilt a lens upwards for a star trail, but didn't want an oval effect you might want to use a tilt-shift lens, but I've not heard on anyone using one of those for star trails!

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I suppose it's the same kind of thing that causes converging verticals in architecture when you tilt a wide lens upwards

I suspect you're right - if I point the camera directly at Polaris I get circular trails.

Glad you didn't find the oval effect off-putting.

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They are very good.

I was hoping to have a go last night before the clouds came over.

And those were taken over 60 second exposures?

Al

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Lovely pictures and interesting stuff, I wonder if the landscape parts are squashed a bit and we don't see it.  Like the composition and the lighting, blurry water near the mill, they have come out well.

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They are very good.

I was hoping to have a go last night before the clouds came over.

And those were taken over 60 second exposures?

Al

Glad you like them. Just realised I didn't mention that these images were produced by stacking sequential exposures using StarStax freeware to get the final star trails images. The Duncansby image is about 50 x 1min images stacked and the Westerdale Mill image is about 25 x 1min stacked. I try to go for 30-60 min worth of star trails normally as I think that looks good, but often the clouds don't stay away for long enough. Other problem can be the lens misting up as it did in this example taken recently at the Grey Cairns of Camster.....

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......limiting me to about 30min worth of trails.

Lovely pictures and interesting stuff, I wonder if the landscape parts are squashed a bit and we don't see it.  Like the composition and the lighting, blurry water near the mill, they have come out well.

Thanks Mick J. The top and bottom of the image are probably a bit "stretched" - I avoid using this lens for photographing people at the shortest focal length as there is definite distortion towards the edge of the frame, making people at the sides in a group photo look much fatter. That's the kind of thing that won't keep the photographer in favour for long :laugh:

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Thanks Mick J. making people at the sides in a group photo look much fatter.   :laugh:

Happens to me wherever I appear in pictures........  :grin:  :grin:

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