So you’re ready to capture and post process some star trail images? Let me show you just how easily this can be done! Using my free tutorials provided below I’ll show you my favorite methods to capture and edit your star trail images in a simple yet powerful manner.
First I’ll provide you with step by step instruction, next you can watch the free video tutorial to see these steps in action. Both are provided below the free eBook link below. If you haven’t taken any star trails images yet you can learn how to do so using my Free Star Trails Shooting Tutorial
Download Your Free 70 Page eBook
My new full length book, Photograph the Night Sky, has just been released & I want you to have the first 70 pages for free.
Photograph the Night Sky is Your Definitive Guide to Milky Way, Star Trail, Northern Lights, Moon & Night Sky Photography!
It also contains detailed information & video tutorials on composition, scouting, planning & weather, as well as many other skill sets which apply to landscape photography.
Star Trails Post Processing Tutorial
- Load all your images into a RAW photo processor of your choice such as Lightroom or Adobe Camera RAW.
- Adjust a single exposure out of the series to get the white balance, darks, lights and all of the other settings to mimic what you would like to see in your final image. Now sync all of your other images from the shoot to exactly match this image. This is very easy using the “Sync” option in Lightroom.
- Export all of your files to JPEG, TIFF or whatever other format you like. Note: If you choose TIFF and plan to export a few hundred picture files you either need a really fast computer with lots of RAM or some magic. I would suggest JPEG in the case of star trail pictures.
- Layer all of the files on top of each other in Photoshop. I like to use Adobe Bridge to do this using the “Load Files into Photoshop as Layers” function.
- Select all of the picture layers in Photoshop EXCEPT the bottom one and change the blend mode to lighten.
- Boom, that’s it. You should now see a picture that mimics one long star trail for each star location. I go on to do many different other adjustments to this image after completing the steps above, but that’s for another tutorial:)