Star Trails with the A7S2

August 26, 2016 thfblog

Exposure took over an hour.

Taken with a Sony A7S2 30 second exposure x 150 times, and a Nikon Ai 105mm at f4.

The tree was illuminated by street lights below it.  This is a combination of over 150 photos.

Combine the images from the A7S2 with Adobe Photoshop.  If you want to combine the RAW images it isn’t difficult but it is a little more complicated than simply import.

There is a way to do it with Adobe Bridge that is easier but when I do it that way I have seen Adobe crash OFTEN.  Thus what I do is open the RAW files with bridge simultaneously, but only work on one image.  There you can click on the far left side where are the RAW files are listed, and hit Ctrl+A to select all of them.  Then right click on the RAW file that you made the adjustments to and right click on it.  Select Sync Settings to All and boom.  Now all the photos are corrected.

From here you can Save ALL images as Tiffs, 16bit or 8bit is your choice.  How important is the project to you?  Where is it going?  Etc.

You can then go back to Photoshop and import the Tiffs “into the stack.”  Then select all of the layers and change their blend mode to “Lighten.”


WAIT, Taylor isn’t this a long ass way to do a simple long exposure?

Yep, you are totally right.  We simply could do the following.

Set the A7S2 to bulb mode, attach a remote that has a hold feature.  Fire the shutter, and select the remote to hold.  Hold the exposure for as long as you would like.  Then take one image that matches the exposure from the “bulb’d” image.  Combine the two images, mask out the long exposure image’s tree or whatever subject was in your frame (basically anything but the stars).  You do this because wind will inevitably ruin the shot.  This is why people will typically completely silhouette everything in the shot except for the stars.  Thus motion blur will be very difficult to find.  However, taking one exposure that has no motion blur in it, and then taking one extremely long exposure and then masking out everything has shown very good results.  YMMV.


If you (like me) are having issues with bridge.  Then just work with the JPEGs.  Import one raw photo, create an action to adjust all the settings necessary, and then apply the action to all the other JPEGs you have.



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