Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home
 

Reply
Show Printable Version Search this Thread
09-03-2012, 08:34 AM   #1
Junior Member
ooblyboo's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2011
Photos: Albums
Posts: 35
Star trails (first attempt)
Camera: Super A Photo Location: Lot Valley, France ISO: 200 Shutter Speed: Above 6s Aperture: F4 

I made my first attempt at star trails in rural France a week or so ago, using a 30-year-old Super A and some Fujicolour C200 film. The exposure was for 25-30 mins.

It's come out ok, but what's not so pleasing is the reproduction. There are weird lines running all over it, and I wondered if it has something to do with the quality of the film, the quality of the film processing, or some other factor that I have been responsible for. I have noticed that other daytime shots I have taken with the camera suffer a similar effect but it is much, much less noticeable.

Any thoughts or advice, or indeed advice on how to clean this up in Photoshop (I am a total novice) would be much appreciated!

Attached Images
 
09-03-2012, 09:03 AM   #2
Veteran Member
Alliecat's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: East of Everywhere, Canada
Posts: 738
25-30 min. at f4ish with 200 film is what I used when I did my first serious star-trail expeditions this spring. So I think your settings are fine. You do have a lot of light pollution. Even in rural areas, long exposures will pick up anything from the horizon. Can you find a darker-sky area? I would also try for a little different foreground; maybe include a bit of the horizon with a wider angle lens... something a little more 'scenic' than the telephone pole.
I don't know what's going on with the lines. If it's all through your film -- IS it on the negatives? -- then you might want to get the camera checked. If it's not on the negatives then it could be your scanner. Have you printed from the negatives, & is it on the prints? If it's the negs, I don't know how I'd clean that up in Photoshop. Just too much to paint out. I think I'd call it an exposure test shot, move on & try another.
Star trail pix are a challenge but when they work it's lots of fun. Enjoy, & good luck
09-03-2012, 09:22 AM   #3
Pentaxian
womble's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Hertfordshire
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 4,255
This really looks like a scanner problem to me. If the neg is very light (because the print will be largely blacks) the scanner's auto settings maybe trying to make black mid-gray and getting the exposure completely wrong. That's my guess anyways.

K.
09-03-2012, 02:16 PM   #4
Junior Member
ooblyboo's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2011
Photos: Albums
Posts: 35
Original Poster
Thanks for the advice Alliecat - I waited for the moon to set so it was as dark as possible but even in a relatively remote part of France the light pollution was still noticeable. Little hope of getting anywhere darker I am afraid - the night sky there is incredible by comparison with where I actually live in the UK. Here there is practically no chance of finding anywhere that isn't much more heavily affected by light pollution - unless you went somewhere very far north in Scotland I suppose. I notice that you are in Canada where presumably it is less of a problem.

Agreed on the foreground - I didn't plan the shots all that well as I wasn't even sure if it would work. When I go back out there in a few months' time I will try again. I think I would probably need a wide angle lens too, which I don't currently have.

As for the shot I attached - that is taken from the CD provided by the company that developed the film for me. The lines are on the print too, but I can't really see much evidence of them on the negative.

Finally, may I ask what camera you are using for star trails? I have heard that it can be a bit more problematic with DSLRs.


Last edited by ooblyboo; 09-03-2012 at 02:32 PM.
09-03-2012, 02:17 PM   #5
Junior Member
ooblyboo's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2011
Photos: Albums
Posts: 35
Original Poster
Thanks Womble - the photo attached is the one provided on a CD from Jessops where it was developed - I didn't scan it in myself.
09-03-2012, 07:49 PM   #6
Veteran Member
Alliecat's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: East of Everywhere, Canada
Posts: 738
QuoteOriginally posted by ooblyboo Quote
I notice that you are in Canada where presumably it is less of a problem.
Ahem... clearly you've never seen the sky in Toronto... I was there a week once & saw ONE star. It was probably Jupiter! There are some pretty big light-blobs on night satellite photos of Canada, but I'm very lucky to live in a wonderfully dark-sky place where I can see the Milky Way in my backyard.

QuoteOriginally posted by ooblyboo Quote
I waited for the moon to set so it was as dark as possible but even in a relatively remote part of France the light pollution was still noticeable.
Bummer. Well, one alternative is to use a shorter exposure time -- with the drawback of getting shorter trails. Another is to aim away from Polaris; you'll get longer arcs in a shorter time -- but of course then you don't get the cool circles. Always a trade-off.
What focal length did you use? You might guess at whether you need a wide-angle, by picking some local scenery, framing in the general direction of Polaris with the widest lens you have, & seeing whether you have any horizon in it.

QuoteOriginally posted by ooblyboo Quote
As for the shot I attached - that is taken from the CD provided by the company that developed the film for me.
A-HA. Maybe it's their scanner. If you don't have one, I'd look for a friend or a camera store who would scan a few of your negs. If the results are clean, fire your current processor!


QuoteOriginally posted by ooblyboo Quote
... may I ask what camera you are using for star trails? I have heard that it can be a bit more problematic with DSLRs.
Like it says in the siggy. K1000. Sweet & simple. I have seen some DSLR night shots I would love to be able to do -- where they get the Milky Way exposed WITH the scenery -- but they are either photoshopped or done with some impossibly high (for film) ISO setting. I haven't done any with digital so I dunno.
If you are interested in the real nitty-gritty of technique, this book might be helpful: Amazon.com: Astrophotography: An Introduction to Film and Digital Imaging (9781552978016): H.J.P. Arnold: Books
It's mostly about film, with a little at the end devoted to digital, as a revised edition.
09-05-2012, 02:03 PM   #7
Junior Member
ooblyboo's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2011
Photos: Albums
Posts: 35
Original Poster
Thanks for the help Alliecat. It was indeed their scanner. The processor was fired and I went to a different one. Looks a little better now!

Attached Images
 
09-05-2012, 02:49 PM   #8
Veteran Member
Alliecat's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: East of Everywhere, Canada
Posts: 738
Oh, hey, that's much better Colour & exposure is better too. I'd be happy with that for a first try. (I'd go to the first store with those results & ask for a refund too.)
Now you can be inspired to try more.
Have fun!
Reply

Bookmarks
  • Submit Thread to Facebook Facebook
  • Submit Thread to Twitter Twitter
  • Submit Thread to Digg Digg
Tags - Make this thread easier to find by adding keywords to it!
advice, attempt, critique, film, photography, quality, star, star trails, trails
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Night Star trails over the lake bdery Post Your Photos! 5 08-02-2011 05:36 AM
K1000 Star Trails csacco Photographic Technique 5 07-31-2011 10:32 AM
Night Even More Star Trails jswillems Photo Critique 10 02-10-2011 06:06 AM
Night More Star Trails jswillems Photo Critique 8 01-24-2011 02:25 PM
star trails mikedy Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 2 11-16-2010 08:54 AM



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 03:06 PM. | See also: NikonForums.com, CanonForums.com part of our network of photo forums!
  • Red (Default)
  • Green
  • Gray
  • Dark
  • Dark Yellow
  • Dark Blue
  • Old Red
  • Old Green
  • Old Gray
  • Dial-Up Style
Hello! It's great to see you back on the forum! Have you considered joining the community?
register
Creating a FREE ACCOUNT takes under a minute, removes ads, and lets you post! [Dismiss]
Top