Night photography - specifically, photographing star trails - has been on my photography wish list for a long time. After all, I always enjoy seeing great star trail photos.
Well, BetterPhoto instructor Deborah Sandidge has been thinking about it too, but she actually went out and did it! :) See her wonderful photo below, along with some excellent tips and techniques so you, too, can get out and shoot the stars.
Here's what Deb has to say:
Star trails are a fascinating part of photographing at night! I've been waiting for a chance to photograph stars on Florida's east coast, far away from the city lights of Orlando. The wind finally blew away most of the clouds that have been looming here recently. This created a perfect opportunity to shoot at night.
I used a 14-24mm f/2.8 Nikon lens on my D3s, f/5.6, 30 seconds - setting the camera up for interval timer shooting. I also set a 16mm fisheye lens in the same vicinity. I've been experimenting a lot with interval shooting just for fun! Ideally, a clear night, little wind and a location away from city lights works to create a successful star trail image. I had a breezy night and a little light, however I'm happy with my first real star trail image.
Go photograph star trails tonight!
Also think about any other necessities you might need, such as: jacket, flashlight, and depending on the season and location, mosquito spray, and something to keep the wild animals away too. For the latter, Deb says: "I experimented with light painting later that evening, and there were way too many eyes out at the Indian River Lagoon".
Note 2: Join Deborah Sandidge for her online Photoshop courses Photoshop - Enhancing Digital Images and Creating Works of Art and Digital Infrared Photography.