Trailhead to the Stars

Copyright ©2016 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Last night I met Gordon, and some other friends in a Meet-Up group we’re in up on Mt. Tamilpias in Marin County to photograph the sunset, and then image the night sky.

There was an Astrology lecture in the Amphitheater so the park was open much later than it normally is which allowed us to stay late. YEAH! Normally the park closes a bit after sunset.

This is 74 frames stacked in PS CC 2015.5.

My settings were f2.2| 30seconds ea.| ISO 320| Manual Priority| Tripod|

Star Trails

4 planes, and one shooting star flew through the sky while I was imaging. I didn’t see the shooting star at the time as I was looking away helping a friend with her settings and intervalometer. I was thrilled to see I caught it on film though.

It was a lovely night, not windy, or cold, and the company was great!

Nikon Df| Nikkor 20mm f/1.8G| Delkin Digital Film

More to come…


“Dwell on the beauty of life. Watch the stars, and see yourself running with them.” ― Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

Copyright ©2016 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

While watching the night sky for Perseid Meteors Friday night I shot just under 300 frames. In all those frames I only managed to photograph 3 meteors! The rest that I saw were over my head or just out of the frame.

What to do with all those frames of stars? Stack them to make a Star Trail image is one thing.

Passing car headlights, other star gazers using their flashlights, and headlamps…maybe my own red headlamp too unintentionally light painted the trees, and foreground bushes for me.

Star Trails with Perseid Meteor

If I get a chance to photograph the Perseids or any other meteor showers this year or next I’ll use my 16mm Fisheye lens to get more sky in my frame.

Nikon Df| Nikkor 20mm f/1.8G| composite of 24 frames @ f/2.8| 26seconds ea| ISO 1600| Delkin Digital Film| PS CC 2015.5

more to come…


Polaris Blues

A friend and I went south to the town of Morgan Hill about 30 mins. from me to Henry Coe State Park to shoot the stars for Star Trails, and we hoped for a nice sunset too.

Arriving early we scouted the area and found a couple of really beautiful oak trees that we thought would make a lovely foreground to our star trail photographs.

We set up camp which for me is a folding chair, tripod, and camera gear then waited for the sun to set.

The sunset was so golden, and even with my LB ColorCombo Polarizer and SinghRay2 stop soft edge Grad ND filter the sun was hot, and I had lots of sun flare. I actually think it came out cool looking in this photo.

© Copyright 2010 Deborah M. Zajac.  All Rights Reserved

After this we moved across to the opposite side of this hill to set up for the Moon Rise. The colors on this side of the valley were so much prettier

than the sunset.

I loved the bands of red and blue. One of the beautiful oaks made for a lovely foreground.

© Copyright 2010 Deborah M. Zajac. All Rights Reserved.

After the moon rise I moved locations to set up and start my test shots for my star trail sequence. Here’s the second test shot.

I was lining up the foreground and Polaris, the North Star.

© Copyright 2010 Deborah M. Zajac. All Rights Reserved.

We weren’t alone up there last night. There was also an Astronomer hobbyist taking photos of the stars and nebulae with his star tracking gear, and telescope mounted to his camera. It was such a wonderful evening chatting with him and looking through his large telescope at Jupiter, Venus, and the Moon.

I’m still working on my Star Trail  photograph. I hope to post it tomorrow.

Nikon D300s

Nikkor 17-35mm f/2.8AF-S