Church by Night Star Trails

We had four days of hot weather and blue cloudless skies in Austria.

Though this meant harsh lighting and, at times, unbearable heat throughout the day, it also meant that we could see the stars easily at night time…and this meant I could try my hand at a little late night star photography.

I have had one attempt at star trails previously; but as this was in the UK on a cold night it really didn’t come out very well. The long exposure I did at the time meant the camera got hot, and as it was so cold the lenses just fogged up. In Austria it was the perfect temperature at night to do them.

I set up my camera beside this church which is on top of a hill in Wildschonau; it had taken some walking to get there at night and I had managed to lose my glasses in a field somewhere (recovered the next day while it was light – hurrah). I used the Promote Control to set off a timelapse sequence and took 30 second exposure for a 30 minute period. The inside of the church was lit by a solitary candle and taken over one exposure of around, I think, 90 seconds.

The exposures were then dropped into Photoshop and layers changed to the Lighten blending mode, followed by a little bit of post to get rid of plane trails and work on the foreground. I’m pretty happy with the final result.

Thanks very much to Scott Wood for the tip on how to quickly and easily produce this within Photoshop and without the need for additional software plugins…it really was simpler than I had imagined it would be.

6 thoughts on “Star Trails over Austrian Church”

  1. Seeing the conversation between you and Scott on Twitter I was excited to see what you were working on. It turned out great! I’ve never had much luck with star trails but may give them another try using blending in PS.

    1. Thanks Curt; I’m looking forward to doing more of them in the future, but no chance of that in the UK sky 🙁

  2. Wow, that came out great. Perfect subject and I love the light inside the cabin. Thrilled that I could help, especially when the results are as great as this.

    1. Thanks Scott. I had fully expected to be trying to figure out software to download and then how to use it; your technique just kept it simple and effective – which is what I like 🙂

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