Capturing a Star Trails image is one of my favorite ways to spend a night! Unlike Milky Way photography, you don't need to wait until a New Moon, or get far away from the city, to create a beautiful photo. Whether you are in the forest, mountains, beach, desert, or even in a city, you can capture a star trails image! In this course I will teach you everything you need to know about star trails photography.
First, I'll show you how to effectively plan your photoshoot. We'll cover the basics of how star trails actually work, what apps you'll need, and what camera gear works best. Next, we'll head into the field and I'll show you how to set everything up. I'll explain which camera settings to use, how to set an interval on your camera or external remote, and how to plan around the Moon. We'll also have two different workflows, depending on the phase of the Moon. This will allow you to capture the highest quality images possible!
Once you've captured your images, we'll focus on how to edit them. This is where the magic happens! I will cover 3 different ways to create a star trails image, including Sequator, StarStaX, and Photoshop. Once you've learned the basics, I'll teach you some of my personal editing techniques to really make your images come alive! I've even included some of my RAW and TIFF files, so you can follow along step-by-step during the post-processing tutorials. This will help you to learn the workflows, even if you don't have any images yet.
The Star Trails Course has over 30 videos! These tutorials are organized into three main modules - Planning, On Location, and Post Processing.
1. Planning - Before you head out into the field, you need to know what gear you actually need. We'll also discuss some important planning tips - twilight, the moon phases, how the direction affects the star trails, and more!
2. On Location - In this module I'll cover my full setup process. That includes the best camera settings, how to pick an interesting foreground, how to utilize the moon, and how to set an interval properly. I'll also show you two different workflows - the Standard Workflow and the Alternate Workflow. These will both create a beautiful star trails image, but you may want to use the Alternate Workflow to save hundreds of GBs of space on your SD cards and harddrives.
3. Post Processing - You have a lot of options for creating your star trails image. Therefore, we will cover a full workflow for 3 different star trails programs. First, we'll look at StarStaX, a free application for Windows, Mac, and Linux. Next, I'll show you how to use Sequator, a free Windows program, to create a beautiful star trails image very quickly. Finally, we'll use Photoshop to create the highest-quality star trails image. The Photoshop workflow is by far the most intensive, but will always produce the best results. I will also show you how to fix some common problems, including hot pixels, color noise, and gaps.
The editing tutorials are suited to a wide range of skill levels. If you're a complete beginner, you can follow along with the easier tutorials first. This will help you learn the basics of photo editing, without getting overwhelmed. If you are a more advanced photographer, you'll enjoy the high-level workflows. These videos will teach you some new techniques in Photoshop and Camera RAW, and allow you to create a high quality final image!