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  • Writer's pictureJohn Patota

Capturing Stars

Star Photography Workshop - No Charge

Thursday, February 1, 2024, 6:30 pm at Sandy Grove Presbyterian Church, Plank Rd, Fayetteville, NC

Join us at the historic Sandy Grove Presbyterian Church as we recreate these images I took back in 2020.

Capturing the stars in the sky and star trails can be challenging, but is very rewarding. I think it is especially interesting when you can capture something on the ground at the same time to give some perspective.

30 seconds, f/2.8, ISO 800 - Tamron f/2.8, 15-30 mm at 15 mm (cropped)

To capture the stars as points of light, we can estimate the exposure needed by using the 500 Rule. Take 500 and divide by your lens focal length. So, for a 50 mm lens (500/50) the longest time you want your shutter open is 15 seconds. Anything longer would capture the stars appear to be moving. Of course, that is just a starting point. Be ready for a lot of trial and error.

For the star trails, we will need to open the shutter for minutes, not seconds. The example here was exposed for 10 minutes. It also helps that you include the North Star in your frame. That way you get the effect that stars are rotating around that fixed point.

15 Minutes, f/4, ISO 200 - Tamron f/2.8,15-30 mm at 15 mm

Thursday night, the sun will set at 5:45 pm, but we will have to wait till 7:12 pm before it gets dark enough to see stars. The weather is calling for clear skies. Another thing in our favor - there will be no moon. Ideal conditions for night photography.

Bring your tripod, cable release (or use the self-timer), and small flashlight (preferably with a red lens). Oh, and dress warm as temps will be in the 40's.

The address comes up on my Apple Maps as 3045 Sandy Grove Rd, Raeford, NC 28376.

Hope to see you there.

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