Photographing Star trails

Do you go out with your local photography group? Well this week I was invited out on a photo walk, a walk I have done a thousand times, this wasn’t the reason I went, but at least I was there to lend a hand to others that needed, “went to the local river in Sunderland”.


Sony A6000, Samyang 12mm, F16 ISo320, 30secs

What I was most looking forward to was going star hunting to see if I could get the Milky Way or a star trail. The location went to didn’t let me take the milky due to where it was located. So i attempted to try a star trail which was quite difficult when I didn’t have a timer or intervelomater, but I really want to test out my Sony A6000 and Samyang 12mm.

I wasn’t sure when we got there if it would work due to the light pollution.


When photographing stars, make sure your away from any light. Ideally you want zero light pollution.

I set up using my Velbon Ultra tripod and extended the legs out so I could get as low to the ground as possible. I found Polaris (North Star).


When shooting star trails it is best to aim for the North Star as all other stars rotate around giving the sky a circular feel when edited together.

I took a few test shots so I could get the settings right, made sure my camera was on manual mode and manual focus, focused to infinity so everything was in focus from my foreground interest to the stars. Once I found the settings I was happy with I stared to shoot. The issue I had was the intervelomater, I think its a must, you can set your timer and an interval between each shot, i.e., 10secs, interval 2secs 100 shots, You can tell the camera to do this and then just step away and let it do its thing.

I wasn’t that lucky, I had one with my old camera but with my new Sony A6000 I had to count in my head the interval.

photography, night photography, how to photograph stars, uk, north east, sunderland, south shields

Sony A6000, Samyang 12mm, F2, Iso500, 20secs, 90 shots stacked

The end result was better than I thought. And this was the first time shooting a star trail so any outcome I was going to be happy with.

To edit the images I used Lightroom to sync the edit, then I transferred into Photoshop, then aligned the layers  and used a lighten blend mode to create the star trail, I then transferred back to Lightroom for further editing.



  1. 19th November 2017 / 10:19 am

    Wow that is incredible the exposure must have been so long, I often think I need to set aside time doing this! The result is spectacular x

    • 19th November 2017 / 11:06 am

      Thanks. 25 secs each. Multiple exposures blended together. Just sometimes it’s borning just sitting waiting for your ur camera to fonts thing ha. Plus it was freezing

  2. 19th November 2017 / 10:49 am

    Love the effect of circulating stars

  3. 19th November 2017 / 11:26 am

    Wonderful photo, I’ve never tried photography stars. Brilliant tips.

    Thank you for linking up

  4. 19th November 2017 / 4:04 pm

    Amazing shot. We live directly under the Milky Way and I’m hoping to get a chance to photograph. Never thought of doing a star trail. #mysundayphoto

    • 19th November 2017 / 6:05 pm

      Get out there and shoot. If I was lucky enough to live near total darkness I’d be out all the time

  5. 1st February 2019 / 12:11 am

    Pretty yellow on the reflection and I just love that star photo…

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