Rodney Campbell's Blog

Star Trails – Northbridge Through the Aeons…

by on Apr.30, 2013, under Life, Photography

I’d been considering a potential star trails session at this location under the historic bridge at Northbridge for a little while.

Since we were close by at 10PM at night (I know don’t ask :)) and it was a clear moonless night Gerry and I decided to kill a few very cold and wet (the dew formation was ridiculous – lucky I brought the star trails socks :)) hours waiting for the frames to complete.

I also wanted to try out my new very fast wide angle lens (the Sigma 35mm f/1.4) to see if could help me with star trails. I must say it enabled me to shoot at an insanely low ISO (atypical for shooting stars) – I shot the following at ISO 160 instead of the more typical ISO 1600.

From around 10:15PM we shot some ambient and foreground shots at more typical landscape settings first (along with light painting the tree’s and bridge with the uber torch (the Nitecore 860 lumen monster)). I then shot the 223 frames taken at 35mm and 30 seconds @ f/1.4 and ISO 160 from 10:45PM to 12:40AM which were then stacked and blended with the earlier exposures to produce the following final star trails image…

Northbridge Through the Aeons

Northbridge Through the Aeons

NIKON D600 + 35.0 mm f/1.4 @ 35 mm, 30 sec at f/1.4, ISO 160

It was a very late evening finishing around 1AM and the fog rolled in a number of times creating havoc with some of the source frames – although I’m hoping Gerry will convert the lower half into a timelapse movie of the fog swirling around at ground level.

Here is a single frame of a small part of the milky way pointing in exactly the opposite direction (as it happens there were far more visible stars in this direction – which we didn’t notice till we were well under way :(). What is pretty remarkable about this shot is that we’re fully in the heart of Sydney here so light pollution is about as bad as it gets which generally makes shooting stars nigh on impossible. I wasn’t really expecting to see to much in the result – I could just make out the milky way by eye – but the D600 and the Sigma 35/1.4 has pulled out what I think is a pretty acceptable result.

10 seconds @ f/1.4 and ISO 1000

Northbridge Lighting the Milky Way

Northbridge Lighting the Milky Way

NIKON D600 + 35.0 mm f/1.4 @ 35 mm, 10.00 sec at f/1.4, ISO 1000

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