Featured Photo: Star Trails, Single Long Exposure, 15 Minutes

Joshua Tree Star Trails, Single Long Exposure with Light Painting, 28 April 2012

Joshua Tree National Park, California, U.S.A. 15-minute star trails long exposure photo, Nikon D90, Tokina 11-16mm lens. Unlike the first photo that was shot on the same night in the same location, this is not a stacked shot, but a single exposure.

Single long exposures have a very different feel from the stacked photo, where more stars show prominently, and I shot both ways because I do really appreciate the different feelings they evoke.

The foreground is lighter because I used a flashlight to “light paint” the trees. Long exposure star trail photos can look fantastic either with silhouettes or with “light painted” foregrounds. The “light painting” probably looks a little more unusual. The act of “light painting” is an absolute blast, and makes time go by very fast. Who knew that waving a flashlight around could be so much fun?

Now, as I mentioned, this is a single exposure, albeit a 15-minute one.  On June 1st, I’ll post about how  a similar photo was created, a “stacked” photo, describing what I did both out in the field and the post-processing afterwards.  Thanks so much for checking this out!

Photo: 11-16mm Tokina at 11mm, f/2.8, ISO 200 for slightly over fifteen minutes

Equipment:  Nikon D90, Tokina AT-X 116 Pro DX AF 11-16mm f/2.8 Lens For Nikon.


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