Heartland Star Trails

Star Trails above HDB flats

This evening, I saw a Facebook update by a friend who was excited over the clear, starry sky that she saw at the East Coast Park beach. Since I stay in the east as well, I decided to check it out.

Looking out of the window, I see a nearly-cloudless sky filled with stars. I originally intended to see if I could get a milky way shot, but wasn’t successful. So I decided to go for a star trails shot instead.

To get the star trails, I set up my Fujifilm X-T1 with the Zeiss Touit 12mm f/2.8 lens and set the intervalometer to take a hundred shots. The exposure was found by trial and error (helps having a computer nearby to check these.) to be 20s at f/5.6 at ISO 1600.

After the 100 shots, I downloaded the images into Lightroom CC, then did some exposure/colour adjustments on the first shot. I opted for a slightly bluer white balance which I think looks better for the night sky. The HDB flats in the foreground was kind of bright, so  I toned that down via Lightroom’s graduated ND filter. Once I am happy with the adjustments, I used the Sync Settings in Lightroom to apply to the other 99 shots, then exported them as JPEG files.

Finally, the 100 images were stacked in StarStaX, which did an excellent job at stacking them and also filling in the gaps in the star trails. It’s by coincidence that I managed to get the centre of the trails in the centre of the frame. Talk about good luck!


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