Cre­ate a star trail vor­tex

Give your night sky shots an added twist

NPhoto - - Feature -

Not all shots of star trails have to con­form to the tra­di­tional cir­cu­lar spin, and a tech­nique that’s steadily been grow­ing in pop­u­lar­ity is the idea of adding a spi­ral or vor­tex twist to the trails. This can be done by zoom­ing the lens and ro­tat­ing the cam­era us­ing a cus­tom-built de­vice or (much eas­ier) adding the zoom ef­fect in photo-edit­ing soft­ware,

Some pho­tog­ra­phers have taken this to the next level. Take this month’s cover shot of the North­ern Lights over Moose­head Lake in Maine, cap­tured on a D700 by Aaron Priest. Aaron was look­ing for a fresh ap­proach and hit upon the idea of il­lus­trat­ing a rift in time. He be­gan play­ing around with some Pho­to­shop scripts for cre­ative star trails, which can be down­loaded from http://liketheo­cean.com. The end re­sult is a stack of hundreds of im­ages: 243 frames for the lake and 125 frames from a sin­gle star field shot for the rift star trails.

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