J3ni 4:54pm, 31 December 2008
i want to get a picture of some star trails. its freezing here, the temperature tonight is forecast to be -7c. if its clear, could i just set my camera to the bulb setting and leave it for 20-30 minutes, then go back and do another shot of 20-30 minutes, then another one and combine them all together in photoshop?

ive read the best way of photographing star trails is to do lots of 30 second exposures and combine them in photoshop, i read that longer exposures can cause the sensor toget too hot leaving a spoilt picture which is why you do the 30 seconds.

i have a d60, and will be using the 18-55mm lens, at 18mm of course!
J3ni 13 years ago
oh, and what settings would you recommend, for the 30 seconds 1 i used the widest aperture i could, would i do the same for the 20-30 minute exposure? its too cold for trial and error!
csouers 13 years ago
As for the bulb, no. If you wanted to do that, you'd need a remote to trigger the shutter. You can't leave the camera in bulb mode and trigger it at the camera and have it stay open for ever. Doesn't work that way.

As for the shutter getting hot, I would use the 30 second method. This way you are able to see your long shutter noise performance. I've never combined anything like this in PS so count me out.

Just my .02
J3ni 13 years ago
i have the infra red remote for the camera, so triggering it isnt a problem. i would love to use the 30 second method, i tried last night and after 10 minutes i couldnt feel my fingers to press the button on the remote!
Brittany Chretien 13 years ago
Has a wee bit of setting info that might come in handy. Also, I hope you have an extra battery or two, long exposures like to munch batteries, big time.
roomy knee [deleted] 13 years ago
Hey thanks for that link ... interesting read.
captjohntyler 13 years ago
I did this on the D40 with ISO 1600. I found that after more than about 8 minutes the sensor started to overheat and I got a red ting on the photos.

Over that time length there wasn't any trails but I did get some nice star shots. More than 10 minutes and I just got purple mess. That might be better with lower ISO but I doubt it
J3ni 13 years ago
was it very cold when you did it, say like -7c? i know the sensor getting too hot will give the red tinge to the photos, and i was kinda hoping the fact its so cold would help to keep it cooler!

i plan to use iso 100 or 200, so i can keep the shutter open longer.
J3ni 13 years ago
just read the link, cool photo and nice info on the settings, thanks :)
GX67 13 years ago
Actually, I heard the red tinge isn't because of the heat, and it's actually because of the IR-rays given off by the components.

Or it could be the purple...I get mixed up.

But at -7C, I don't think your sensor is going to get that overheated quickly, or even at all. Most ambient heat will probably get "leeched" out of the camera and into the surrounding air. (2nd) But it will also leech your battery life, like "Farewell London" said.
swpars 13 years ago
Probably too late for tonight, but you might look into getting an auxiliary power connector for your camera.

You could run this off a car's battery with a cigarette lighter adapter, or off home current if you are in reach of an extension cord for a very long exposure.
J3ni 13 years ago
no, not too late, went out and theres nowhere clear at all, everywhere is really foggy! ill try again, i wont give up lol!

the power connector is a great idea, sadly im absolutely skint from xmas, so its on my shopping list, along with a load of lenses and other stuff lol
thehotchili2000 13 years ago
30 minute exposure??? why so long?
You can get good star trails with an exposure of a few minutes..
and i wouldnt call -7c cold at all..Im praying it warms up to that...Here in Calgary its been relatively warm the last few days at a high of -10c..and lows of only -20c..a few weeks ago highs were of -27c and lows of -35c...hehe
 Dalton B. 13 years ago
This is usually reserved for film cameras, o
towering wool [deleted] 10 years ago
I must be doing something wrong, I tried this last night and my D40 would only take a 20 sec picture of the stars. What am I doing wrong? I had it set on Manual and was using a remote and tripod....
Breaker119 10 years ago
Set the mode to manual and roll your thumb wheel...increasing the shutter speed until it says "Bulb"
kiwirat 10 years ago
take a series of 30 second photos and then stack them, much more efficient than taking 30 minute exposures.....
StavvioD 10 years ago
The few times I've done star-trails, I found that exposing for 2-3 minutes works best depending on the lightness of the foreground and do as many as necessary.
This is a happy compromise between a long exposure, and the amount of stacking needed in PS afterwards.
towering wool [deleted] 10 years ago
My camera was set on Manual to "Bulb" but will only take a 20 second picture...

I do not own PS...
broad digestion [deleted] 7 years ago
My advice with a Nikon D60 is to use a wide lens (8mm samyangs are ace ..), point it up to the sky a bit, wide open to start with on ISO 100 or 200
if you can change aperture mid exposure then do it .. looks like this ...
No editing
i used torches, coloured plastic and a plasma ball too ..
It's quite a long exposure as you can see from the exif ... i kept the shutter open using the Remote setting on bulb mode (which displays as "time")
The Other Side
Groups Beta