Make the Stars Go Round in a Few Steps

So everyone loves star trails. There’s just something majestic about seeing an image where you can see with your own two eyes how the planet revolves without us even noticing it. Star trails are one of the best ways to showcase that in photography.

If you’ve ever wanted to try creating star trails but think that it’s a job only pros can do, you are wrong. You can easily create star trails with a little bit of patience and practice. Just get a decent camera with a fast wide angle lens, a tripod, and a shutter release or duct tape.

The Shooting

The first step of creating a star trail image is to actually take the photos needed. Now, to take star trail photos, you have to take a large number of images that you will have to later merge in post processing.

You should try to get your hands on a lens with the widest possible aperture because that helps you use a lower ISO value, and hence get lesser noise in your photos. Open your lens to its widest aperture, set your shutter speed to 30 seconds, and adjust the ISO to properly expose the photo. Once the settings are dialed in, use a remote shutter or some duct tape to make your camera shoot continuously for as long as you want. Remember that you should have at least 50 photos at the end of this process, but more are better.

The Editing

Bring up all your RAW files into a processor and edit them the way you want. The best way is to edit one image properly, and then copy and paste the settings to all images so every image looks more or less the same. After this, all you need to do is bring up all these images as layers in Photoshop, and set the Layer Blending Option to Lighten.

This will make all the brightest parts of your photos, the stars, to be shown on top of the static scenery below. And this is how you will be able to make a stunning star trail image of your very own.