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Thread: Chasing star trails with an 8x10

  1. #11
    Corran's Avatar
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    Re: Chasing star trails with an 8x10

    Get there early and focus roughly while it's light out. Use some tilt to get the foreground and stars in focus once you can see some, which may sound obvious but is harder said than done depending on the geometry of the object...especially as I'd suggest shooting at the widest aperture possible or close to it.

    I once shot some Provia at f/11 for like 6 hours and got literally nothing on the film. I was using a 2x center filter though which was dumb. So I think at f/16 you'd be already pushing it, so I'd shoot for f/8 or wider.

    HP5 would be a big no-no I think. T-Max 100 or 400, or Delta 100 for sure would result in more actual exposure.
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  2. #12

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    Re: Chasing star trails with an 8x10

    Quote Originally Posted by Drew Wiley View Post
    John, ACROS 8X10 would be very difficult to find, because the tiny bit remaining is probably being jealously hoarded. I used up my last sheet of it a couple years ago. TMax400 is going to be no.2 choice in terms of long-exp characteristics, and will be way sharper than HP5. FP4 sounds awfully slow. Test any of these in 35mm first. Someday I'll have to show you the secret UFO landing site up above Granite Creek. It was about 5 mi back in the woods, and once a summer a UFO cult would gather there and wait in a circle holding hands and chanting. Finally it happened. Of course nowadays if some frisbee with flashing perimeter lights went over someone's back yard BBQ at night they'd just snicker about what the neighbood kids were up to. But in the mid-60's, way back miles from even the nearest dirt road, who would have imagined some kids would design a very elaborate model and giant slingshot device, and haul in six car batteries for sake of powerful projector black light strobe system, just to make fools out of what were already fools? But that 12-second UFO overflight was good for a lifetime of laughs afterwards, and it sure made true believers out of them.
    Dang, I miss all the fun!
    I steal time at 1/125th of a second, so I don't consider my photography to be Fine Art as much as it is petty larceny.
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  3. #13
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    Re: Chasing star trails with an 8x10

    Quote Originally Posted by John Kasaian View Post
    Lighting will be an issue. There's no power to the site and it's in a pretty dense forest, so I'll be stuck with a silhouette I'm guessing. Thanks!
    Pop a handheld flash a few times. The exposure does not have to be too long to get the feel of a circle. There should be plenty of examples on-line with the length of the exposure noted to give you an idea of length of star trails over time. And unless you need (and can get) detail in the landform, reciprosity failure can be your friend and a conventional film will help to keep the sky black as the stars will not be dimmed by reciprosity failure.

    I have 2 boxes of 8x10 Acros you can't have. Bought them in Kyoto a couple years back.
    "Landscapes exist in the material world yet soar in the realms of the spirit..." Tsung Ping, 5th Century China

  4. #14

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    Re: Chasing star trails with an 8x10

    Quote Originally Posted by Vaughn View Post
    Pop a handheld flash a few times. The exposure does not have to be too long to get the feel of a circle. There should be plenty of examples on-line with the length of the exposure noted to give you an idea of length of star trails over time. And unless you need (and can get) detail in the landform, reciprosity failure can be your friend and a conventional film will help to keep the sky black as the stars will not be dimmed by reciprosity failure.

    I have 2 boxes of 8x10 Acros you can't have. Bought them in Kyoto a couple years back.
    Ilford is what I have, so I'll roll with that
    I steal time at 1/125th of a second, so I don't consider my photography to be Fine Art as much as it is petty larceny.
    I'm not OCD. I'm CDO which is alphabetically correct.

  5. #15

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    Re: Chasing star trails with an 8x10

    Quote Originally Posted by John Kasaian View Post
    Lighting will be an issue. There's no power to the site and it's in a pretty dense forest, so I'll be stuck with a silhouette I'm guessing. Thanks!
    If you need some lighting, consider some large flashbulbs... Compact, require some low voltage batteries to power, and even if not enough power to cover scene, at least will start reaction on film to allow ambient light to help build image during long exposure...

    Steve K

  6. #16
    Gary Beasley's Avatar
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    Re: Chasing star trails with an 8x10

    Quote Originally Posted by John Kasaian View Post
    Lighting will be an issue. There's no power to the site and it's in a pretty dense forest, so I'll be stuck with a silhouette I'm guessing. Thanks!
    This is where you explore the option of painting with light. If you have some good handheld high power lights you can find a vantage point that you can use to illuminate interesting parts of the landscape without blowing up the foreground with light. As always a good idea to experiment on a less important shoot to get a feel for how it will work.

  7. #17

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    Re: Chasing star trails with an 8x10

    definitely go with a new moon. also, depending on ground conditions, and how long you think your exposure will be, I'd be looking at dew control as well. if yer not keen to hump a battery pack and heater straps, some chemical hand warmers will work as well. wrap an elastic band around them around the rim of the front element and you shld be fine. not sure how dry it is where you're going but where I am, dew is an issue with long exposures.

    fwiw, I used 320 TXP 8x10 when I did trails and exposures I think were couple of hours, give or take. 300 5.6 lens (or might have been Fuji 210 5.6

    good luck and have fun, and hope you post the result !
    Last edited by Fred L; 6-Sep-2020 at 19:15.
    notch codes ? I only use one film...

  8. #18

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    Re: Chasing star trails with an 8x10

    Wow, lots of good info here. I've tried LF star trails casually a few times, with occasional success. I remember trying to shoot color star trails in the '80s with Vericolor film and an f/8 lens... basically no-go. But I'll try again when I next get a chance... good luck John!

  9. #19
    Scott Davis
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    Re: Chasing star trails with an 8x10

    A Vivitar 283 with a fresh set of batteries would probably be sufficient to light paint your subject, should you be able to get close enough to it, and it's not too big. Remember to keep yourself between the flash and the lens so you don't get a flare spot from the flash head in the image.

  10. #20

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    Re: Chasing star trails with an 8x10

    this photo was taken a few years ago, and I wish I had a wider lens to include more foreground, and definitely more sky. can't recall why Polaris isn't more distinct. the neg looked slightly thin but scanned fine.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails lf-startrails2.jpg  
    notch codes ? I only use one film...

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