Temple of Heaven

Discussion in 'Epcot Photos' started by mSummers, Jul 31, 2012.

  1. mSummers

    mSummers Member

    I stopped in China to get some shots of the temple on my way to the Illuminations meet at Pixelmania last October and noticed that the stars were visible in my shot, so I decided to try a star trail. ; Since I only had 30 minutes, the trails aren't very long, but I like how they turned out.

    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 11, 2014
  2. jbwolffiv

    jbwolffiv Member

    Very cool! ; Totally novice question, with the exposure being 30 minutes, how did you keep the Temple and all not blown out? ; Do you use a "special blacked out" filter? ; I assume a ND filter, but at what level?
  3. mSummers

    mSummers Member

    Thanks John!

    Its actually not a continuous 30min exposure. ; Unlike star trails on film (which had its own problems) digital sensors can't handle exposures of that length without overheating and creating extra noise. ; So, the solution is to create a series of many shorter exposures and then stack them. ; I didn't bring the intevelometer remote with me on that trip, so after taking a correctly exposed shot of the temple, I set the camera for a 30s exposure and locked the remote button so it fired continuously.

    Stacking them is easy. ; There's a free program called Startrails that will automatically stack the shots for you if you're working with JPEGs. ; I was working with the raw files to bring out some of the shadows in the temple, so I ended up stacking them by hand in Photoshop. ; I placed all of the star trail shots on individual layers and changed the layer blending from "normal" to "lighten". ; Next I added the temple shot to the top of the stack and masked out the sky to allow the stars to show through without allowing the overexposed temple to show through.
  4. jbwolffiv

    jbwolffiv Member

    Wow! ; It is explainations like this that excites me to learn more and reminds me that there is so much to learn. ; Thanks for that explaination.
  5. zackiedawg

    zackiedawg Member Staff Member

    Very cool idea - star trails at Disney - never would have thunk it! ; Of course, you have some serious commitment to do this in the summer - I couldn't stand still in that heat taking 30 minutes of exposures - I'm usually set - shoot - move on, and find air conditioning during the summer.

    Almost all of my long exposure work at Disney is during the winter, when you can actually stay outside, stand in one spot for long periods, not mind carrying bags and tripods, etc.
  6. mSummers

    mSummers Member

    Any time. ; If you want to learn more about star trails, I recommend visiting Moose Peterson's site. ; This post has a link to a PDF that he created on star trails: ; http://www.moosepeterson.com/blog/2007/09/28/heres-why-you-want-extended-092807/

    Moose also talks about a stacking script for Photoshop that Russell Brown wrote that works well for star trails. ; I forgot about that script since I haven't tried it out yet.
  7. jbwolffiv

    jbwolffiv Member

    Thanks! ; Will take a look!

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  8. Nice work. ; And thanks for the PS tips. ; Sounds like a good project for Space Mountain/Mission Space.
  9. mSummers

    mSummers Member

    Thanks, Peter! ;
  10. HPS3

    HPS3 Member

    Michael, what a great shot and tutorial. I need to learn how to do star trails.
  11. Coo1eo

    Coo1eo Member

    Nice job Michael & excellent explanation. Thanks for sharing this info with everyone. I will definitely take a look at this technique.
  12. mSummers

    mSummers Member

    Thanks guys!

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