Star Trails at New River Bridge

Dave Johnston

Well-Known Member
Not sure if this goes here, Landscape or even City/Buildings. But it would at least seem to make sense here!

The other night I had the opportunity to be in the area of our newest national park, New River Gorge NP, on a night that was clear enough for star trails without interference from clouds. It was a great chance to shoot the New River Gorge Bridge; even though a lot of good star trails images have been done there, it was a first for me. I was trying out a new camera AND a new lens specifically for astro, so I did not do this a smoothly as I would have liked. I did five-minute exposures, triggering the next one manually, so there are some gaps. I was standing on a bridge at the bottom of the Gorge, and even at 11:00 at night cars were traveling over it, which created short vertical jumps in the trails from the vibration. But that aside I'm happy with what both the camera and the lens produced.

Canon R5 with Rokinon 24 mm f/14, at (I think) f/4, ISO 100, five minutes; 14 images so roughly 70 minutes. Developed in ACR and stacked in Sequator.

New River Gorge Bridge Under Stars.jpg


Comments and suggestions welcome!

Dave
 

AlanLichty

Moderator
The star trails make a neat backdrop for the bridge and your rendering makes the bridge stand out nicely. Looks pretty good to my eyes.
 

JimFox

Moderator
Staff member
Hey Dave, this looks pretty cool. Great job with the positioning and getting north up in the upper right. I like how the star trails go behind the bridge like that. Good job all around.

Your remote wouldn’t lock in? If you were doing 5 min exposures I am guess you had a remote release?
 

Dave Johnston

Well-Known Member
Thanks, Alan. I happy I got something, as it just started out as test shoots with the new lens.

@JimFox Thanks. I was using the Bulb Timer, which is a feature built into the camera. It is nice because you don't need to use a remote to hold down the shutter during long bulb exposures. However, it won't implement continuous shooting, even if you DO use a remote to hold the shutter down - it just runs the set time but doesn't start a new exposure. To do that I would need to use regular continuous shooting, but be limited to 30 second exposures (and have to process a whole lot more images). The other alternative would be an intervalometer, but in my experience they result in gaps anyway, and sometimes they miss starting the next exposure if the interval isn't set exactly right. So for now, it appears my best bet is long exposures, manually triggered.

Dave
 

JimFox

Moderator
Staff member
Thanks, Alan. I happy I got something, as it just started out as test shoots with the new lens.

@JimFox Thanks. I was using the Bulb Timer, which is a feature built into the camera. It is nice because you don't need to use a remote to hold down the shutter during long bulb exposures. However, it won't implement continuous shooting, even if you DO use a remote to hold the shutter down - it just runs the set time but doesn't start a new exposure. To do that I would need to use regular continuous shooting, but be limited to 30 second exposures (and have to process a whole lot more images). The other alternative would be an intervalometer, but in my experience they result in gaps anyway, and sometimes they miss starting the next exposure if the interval isn't set exactly right. So for now, it appears my best bet is long exposures, manually triggered.

Dave
That’s an interesting feature Dave. Do you manually start it each time from the shutter button or a menu option?
 

Dave Johnston

Well-Known Member
That’s an interesting feature Dave. Do you manually start it each time from the shutter button or a menu option?
You set it up the time and enable it in a menu, but it stays enabled until you move out of Bulb mode (or you disable it). So after the end of the first timed exposure, you can just press the shutter button again to start the next one. If you see the first exposure end and start the next one fast enough, you can get minimal gaps. I wasn't always on top of things so some gaps are pretty evident.

Dave
 

Mike Lewis

Staff Member
Staff member
Wow, what a fantastic image! Another example of how important foreground is in these shots. I love the final composition, and the exposure levels seem perfect. The silhouetted foreground looks totally natural and lets the bridge stand out even more than the excellent moonlighting. I have both the camera and the lens, so I guess I am going to have to go find something cool like this to shoot with the combo :)

Fantastic result, thanks for sharing!

ML
 

Dave Johnston

Well-Known Member
Thank you, Mike! I have not yet fully vetted the Rokinon in a variety of astro contexts; a good Milky Way shot will tell the tale. I'm always nervous about them with quality control. I does have a lot of light falloff at wide apertures and I believe the reviews that say it is relatively low contrast in the center. But it does appear to have very little coma and is reasonably sharp across the field, so it may work out well. Hope your copy is good!

Dave
 
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