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05-25-2017, 11:23 PM   #1
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Interval Composite Mode for Star Trails?

Hi Everyone!

I recently got a K-70 as my first DSLR and love it!

However, last time I tried taking a star trail photo with interval composite mode, I had it in average mode and it appears that the stars were averaged out (whoops, should have seen this coming) and the trails were duller than they would've been if it were one long exposure. I feel like I could get a better result with additive or bright interval composite mode, but I'm not sure which one, and I'm nervous to try the wrong one and have a garbage photo after an hour and a half.

Does anyone know which interval composite mode is best for start trails?

Thank you!

05-26-2017, 04:44 AM - 1 Like   #2
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W412ren's Avatar

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Interval Composite, Bright has worked for me so far

Sirius Minor Star Trail by -Wargus-
05-26-2017, 05:30 AM   #3
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"Additive" can lead to a mess - if there's any brightness or noise in the dark areas it can accumulate and overpower the stars.

"Bright" is usually the way to go, you can set your exposure length to work with any other features you've included and let your interval composite run as long as you like to get the trail effect you're after..

You can always shoot separate images using interval mode (disable the in-camera composite), and combine on your computer later. A free program like "StarStax" can let you try out the different blending options and see how they work on the same set of images (obviously the software has more blending options, but it includes the camera ones). It can be instructive and help you understand the in-camera options a little better.
05-26-2017, 05:55 AM   #4
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W412ren is right. It's Bright.

Bright also has the advantage of capturing and preserving meteor trails.

05-26-2017, 08:57 AM   #5
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Wow, those star trails with Bright mode look amazing! Thanks a lot everyone!
05-26-2017, 09:46 AM   #6

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QuoteOriginally posted by BrianR Quote
...You can always shoot separate images using interval mode (disable the in-camera composite), and combine on your computer later...
I like having separate images because there's an easy method for removing airplane trails. I just paint black over the plane in the original frame using Photoshop or even Windows Paint. The black erase marks vanish as I combine images.

I have yet to try Interval Composite Bright to get a single star trail image. It's promising for simplicity and for saving memory card space, but what happens with the plane trails? I don't think Photoshop smart erase is quite smart enough to easily fix many combined plane trails without ruining the star trails.

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