When I first shot some star trails, the interest was negligible. After a year or so, people started to take an interest and my one photo of star trails in the Brecon Beacons started to sell really well. To get the more effective star trails, the moon mustn’t be in the sky so there are less than two weeks out of every four when star trails are possible. Adding in the weather factor makes it even more difficult to get the right conditions. The Met Office forecast was for clear skies last night, so I headed out to Mynydd Illtud for sunset, but unfortunately the peaks were shrouded in cloud. Nevertheless, I decided to give it a go. I waited until it was partially dark and then set up my camera in the chosen position whilst I could still see well enough to set everything up. I then took a photo to use as a base image so there was detail in the foreground and sky. Once that was done, I had to wait until it was dark before taking the star photos. I set my timer to take one minute photos and left it for about an hour.
I then had to turn 57 photos into one. I used Star Trails software to stack all the photos and then did the final processing in Photoshop. It was pretty cold last night on the hill – on my top, I was wearing a thermal top, a base layer, two micro fleeces, a thick woolly jumper, a soft shell and, finally, a waterproof/windproof coat. It worked well keeping the cold off!
Here is the more traditional sunset photo, although unfortunately the peaks were in the cloud.