Interesting Photo of the Day: Long Exposure of a Night Hike

Nature is beautiful, there’s no denying that. But with nature photography done the right way, you can take a breathless scenery and make it perfect. As we’ve said time and time again, photography can take a single moment and make it last forever, and it can take hours and make them pass in the blink of an eye. The following photo will show you what I mean by that:

long exposure of star trails and night hike

Stacked Exposures. Camera settings: f/2.8, 30s, ISO 1600. (Via Imgur. Click image to see full size.)

The photo was taken by Zach Becker with a Canon Rebel T3i and a Tokina 11-16mm lens. Using Magic Lantern, a custom Canon firmware, he set the camera to take a series of interval photographs as he hiked around for three miles, then he stacked all of the exposures together to create the stunning image you see above. In fact, no less than 94 pictures were stacked for this image alone!

Curious what this looks like on the move? Luckily, Zach also took a timelapse video of the whole thing, which you can see below:

Have you tried this sort of project? How did it go?

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2 responses to “Interesting Photo of the Day: Long Exposure of a Night Hike”

  1. tim says:

    I tried doing the time laps just using bulb setting, taking a snapshot every 30 min or so with a cable release but never got the shot of the stars circling like a pin wheel.

    What did I do wrong? Do I need a special software to do this?thx.

  2. Stuart says:

    @Tim – the trick is not to take a photo every 30m but to take a long exposure shot for approx 30 seconds and to keep doing that.

    If you want static star shots then you need to follow the 500 (or 600) rule for photography. Essentially it’s an equation which tells you how long you can take a shot for before the stars “move” – that boils down to approx 4 to 8s exposure depending on your camera, lens and focal length. But what you want is the opposite so you take a shot that lasts longer than this. Most modern DSLR’s default to a max exposure of 30s before going to bulb mode so just keep shooting 30s shots one after the other and then stack….

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