Thursday, March 15, 2012

Star Trail Photography of a British WW2 Truck. The most expensive picture I have taken.

What is the picture you are seeing below you ask.... Its star trail photography, no Photoshop is not involved in what you see....

Star trail photography deals with taking a long exposure picture of the stars or combining many long exposure pictures into one picture by stacking them.

Because the earth is spinning the stars will actually move across the frame of the picture. The one star you see stationary is called The North Star, Polaris or Ursae Minoris. It is a star 434 light years away that is closest in line with the axis of the earth, thus the earth spins about it.

With film cameras the traditional way of taking a star trail photograph is taking a single picture that is 10min to several hours long. Relatively simple. With digital cameras the problem is that in shots that are over a few minutes long the sensor in the camera generates hot pixels that show up as red, green or blue dots; basically noise, which can be removed in post processing.

The other option, and what I did was to take lots of "long" exposure photographs that are then stacked one on top of the other to generate what you see.

Why was it the most expensive picture I have taken? Because preparing for the picture killed my Canon 50D. See in order to take 200+ pictures or 1.5hr+ series of pictures the camera needs an external power supply. So I made one out of a DC-DC converter that plugs into the Jeeps (My Jeeps, not the one in the picture) cigarette lighter power port. Problem is that apparently a static electricity discharges passed 3,000+ volts of electricity into my camera. :( I ended up taking the picture with only 133 exposures using a friends 50D. Thx Igor!

I am taking donations to replace my camera... :)

This example is a stack of 133, 30 second photographs taken from 11:33pm to 12:44am on the night of Wed March 7th. The individual pictures are stacked or blended in post processing. But rest assured no "Photoshop magic" was involved in generating the effect of the stars spinning in the sky.

Regarding the truck. Its an old British World War II Ford truck that was abandoned in the middle of the desert probably after some type of mechanical failure.

Where in the middle of the desert? Click the link below and zoom in to see the truck and zoom out to see how in the middle of no where it is.,26.571663&hl=en&ll=26.986049,26.571636&spn=0.008174,0.016512&num=1&t=h&z=17

Please click below to see the picture larger.

Why was I in the middle of the desert? We were on 4 day desert expedition. There is some info in the preview post before this, but ill write another blog post with more on the trip in the next few days!


Trike said...

As I said on Gizmodo, that is one badass shot. Sorry you lost your camera; that's physically painful.

How did you get all the way out there?

AEGS said...

Was a 4 day expedition of The Great Sand Sea.

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