I pulled out the camera (aka Clicky), threw on my 70-200mm f/2.8 lens (Thanks again Santa… how do you know?), picked up my tripod and intervalometer and headed out to the deck. After yesterday’s hellish storms it was good to be outside on a clear, nicely breezy, warm night. The oppressive humidity of the afternoon was long gone.
I pointed the camera toward the sky. A few stars were bright enough to use to focus. This was going to be a 100% manually set shoot.
I pulled back the zoom from its maximum focal length down to 100mm then snapped off a shot at f/2.8, 1 second, iso 1600. I needed to make sure the camera would capture something. It did. Zooming in showed the picture was pretty sharp.
The one second shutter was a critical number. As you’ll see in the animation the stars move across the sky. Hold the shutter open too long and the stars will be streaky blurs.
My last step was setting the intervalometer. I set it to six second intervals which gave me ten shots a minute.
I let it run for around 45 minutes.
The finished product was run through Sony Vegas 9, a video editor. Levels were adjusted, but there’s an interesting conflict between stars and noise if you bring the gain up too much. That’s a technique probably only learned through trial and error.
Originally this was uploaded to Youtube. It was compressed so much the stars virtually disappeared. This method is a little better, but I’ll probably work on another method this weekend.