Star Rising Behind the Trees – Time Lapse at IISAC2009

Hi all

On top of one of the hills facing South East at Lostock Scout Camp, there’s a row of 5 trees that really stand out. I always wanted to make them more of a focus of something photographic. I used them in my Raining Stars at Lostock image from IISAC2008, but it was a much wider field.

On Friday night, 16th October at IISAC2009, I wanted to try again with a longer focal length. I setup my Canon 20D and 24-105mm L lens on a tripod, and programmed it to take 30 seconds exposures on repeat.

I combined the result into a movie – showing both timelapse and star trails. There’s also a single star trails image with all of the frames combined.

Click the video to watch it in higher resolution at YouTube.

Or if you prefer Vimeo, you can view the video at Vimeo using this link.

The single star trails image is below. Click the image for a larger resolution (1200px) version.

Star Trails over the Trees at IISAC2009. Click image to download larger size.

Star Trails over the Trees at IISAC2009. Click image to download larger size.

Continue reading for more information about how the movie and the image was put together.

The shots were taken with my Canon 20D and 24-105mm L series lens, sitting on a fixed tripod. The lens was set at 75mm, f/4, and the camera was taking 30 second exposures at ISO1600 – on repeat, for 100 exposures.

The raw frames had some minor processing in Raw Shooter Premium, before being saved as large jpeg. The large jpegs were batch processed in Photoshop to apply noise reduction, saved as large jpegs for the single star trails shot, and then resized to 800px wide, canvas height extended to 600px and the tag line added, and then saved a second time – the small jpegs to be used for the time lapse.

For the still image, the large jpegs were loaded into and the star trails image was created. I used Photoshop for saturation increase, but nothing else was done.

For the time lapse, the small jpegs were loaded into and processed using the Movie icon – saved using the xvid codec. That gave the first half of the movie. I then used a screen recording program (CamStudio) to capture the screen while I used star trails to build the star trails. That gave me the second half of the movie.

I then simply used the Microsoft Movie Maker that comes with Windows XP to combine the two, add the credits and effects, add the final star trails image to the end, and that’s it!

It was my first attempt at time lapse images, and my first attempt at creating a movie!

I had a lot of fun putting it together – I hope you enjoyed it too.

Thanks for looking.

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