DNA Light Trails

Saturday night we headed up to the Lawrence Hall of Science for their free star-gazing session. It was a bit windy and I knew my better half wouldn’t wanna be there too long so while she went to check out the telescopes I headed right for the DNA sculpture. I had my super-fast 24mm F1.4 mounted on my D700. Opened it all the way and set the ISO to 3200 and the exposure time to 5 seconds just to get an idea of the composition. After a couple of shots it looked good, so I then switched to F8 at ISO 400 for 30 seconds. I didn’t bring my remote switch so the longest exposure I could make was 30 seconds. I then set up the interval timer to shoot one shot every 40 seconds for about 20 shots or whenever she decided we should leave.  As the shot was exposing, I took out my little LED light and ran around it. Took me about the whole 30 seconds to get all the way around it while spinning my arm.  Made a couple of exposures just lighting up the front. All in all I think it turned out pretty well considering I only had one chance to get it right. Re: post-production, I made a few minor adjustments in LR4 then exported and opened in a program called Starstax, which does a really great job of merging all the shots together to give you those lovely star trails. So with about 20 shots at 30 seconds I guess the exposure was around 10 minutes.

Can’t wait to go back with my 12mm and a lot more time to play around.

DNA Star Trails

DNA Star Trails | Nikon D700 24mm F1.4 lens at F8 10 minute exposure at ISO 400

Huge thanks to my buddy Joe Reifer. His blog is a wealth of knowledge for all things night photography.

One of these days I’ll be able to attend one of his and Troy Paiva’s workshops.

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