Star trails with Richard De Gouveia




Staring up at the night sky we don’t realise how quickly the stars above us are moving, while we ponder the wonders of the universe. A different way to try and make a photo of the night sky is to emphasize this movement. By finding celestial south using the Southern Cross, one can aim the camera to make beautiful, spherical star trails. This takes patience and some time and a little understanding of your camera. It is also imperative that you have a tripod, and a cable release for the camera. The cable release will allow you to open the shutter indefinitely and the tripod will ensure that your camera stays stable through your exposure.

Due to the fact that the shutter is open for such a long time you will have to stop down on your aperture and ISO settings to get the correct exposure. For this shot I used an aperture of f8 and ISO of 160 as my shutter was open for 30 minutes. Make sure that you have your long exposure noise reduction on as the long exposure causes quite a lot of noise. Also make sure your battery has lots of life left in it as the noise reduction will take as long as the photo to complete, ie. 30 minute exposure will have a 30 minute noise reduction before you can take another photo or see the image so don’t switch your camera off.