08-October-2011

Early Early Morning Autumn Star Trails.

With the continuing clear skies, I set up two cameras to record star trails early this morning. I started at 3:00 AM after the moon set. I was still worried about condensation on the lens. I pointed a Nikon D3 with a 16 mm f/2.8 fish-eye lens north, and a Nikon D3x with a 14-24 mm f/2.8 lens at 14 mm pointed south.  I used some gaffer tape to prevent the focal length lens crepe on the 14-24 mm lens that ruined a previous star trails session. The Nikon D3 stopped recording after 2 hours. After the fact, I realized that I used a EN-EL4 rather than the higher capacity EN-EL4A battery. The D3x with a EN-EL4A battery ran until I went out to get the cameras at sunrise. Unfortunately, condensation on the lens started distorting images after about 5 AM. Both the North and South facing Star Trails ended up about 60 images (2 hours). The really bright trail in both the Norht and South image is Jupiter.

North View Star Trails. Autumn Early Morning in New Jersey. Image taken with a Nikon D3 and 16 mm f/2.8 mm Fisheye lens (ISO 200, 16 mm, f/4, 1 min 59 sec). Composite of 56 images combined using the Startrails program. (David J Mathre)
North View Star Trails. Autumn Early Morning in New Jersey. Image taken with a Nikon D3 and 16 mm f/2.8 mm Fisheye lens (ISO 200, 16 mm, f/4, 1 min 59 sec). Composite of 56 images combined using the Startrails program. (David J Mathre)

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South View Star Trails. Autumn Early Morning in New Jersey. Image taken with a Nikon D3x and 14-24 mm f/2.8 mm lens (ISO 100, 14 mm, f/4, 1 min 59 sec). Composite of 60 images combined using the Startrails program. (David J Mathre)
South View Star Trails. Autumn Early Morning in New Jersey. Image taken with a Nikon D3x and 14-24 mm f/2.8 mm lens (ISO 100, 14 mm, f/4, 1 min 59 sec). Composite of 60 images combined using the Startrails program. (David J Mathre)

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Author: David Mathre

I am a scientist by training (Eckerd College, BSc; Caltech, Ph.D.). I worked for 27 years as a Chemist in the Pharmaceutical Industry developing processes to manufacture medicines for human and animal health. I now spend my time as a photographer and world traveler. My interests in photography include the natural world, wildlife, landscapes, skyscapes, and seascapes. I have traveled to over 50 countries over the last 10 years, often on Semester at Sea voyages. While at home in New Jersey, I spend time on a home renovation project and expanding my wildflower garden/meadow.

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