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Reply
Nomad
Posts: 364
Accepted Solution

How to take Star Trail Photographs with the Hero 4

The Gopro Hero 4 is a very capable camera for taking "Star Trail" Photographs
 
First you will need to find a place where you have no or very little light polution as too much will ruin the final photograph.
 
Be careful, too much Moon light and you may not be able to photograph the stars.  Too little Moon light and the foreground of the photograph may be too dark, so choose your night/area well
 
Set your Camera up before you go out (it is a lot more easy to do in the light). 
 
For the Star Trail photograph shown below I set the Camera To :
 
Mode : Night Lapse  (do not use Time Lapse Video as we want single frames/photographs)
Shutter : 30 Sec
Interval : Continuous
Megapixels : 12MP Wide
Spot Meter : Off
Protune : On
White Balance : 3000K
ISO limit : 400
 
(the settings above may not work for you, if your photographs are Too Bright, turn down the "Shutter" to say 10 or 15 Seconds and try that.  If your photographs are Too Dark, set the ISO to 800)
 
All other settings you can leave as they are (Or experement with different settings)
 
Set your Camera up (on some kind of stand so it will not move) and point the camera towards the Sky, Then start "Exposing", You will need to let the camera "Run" (photographing the night sky) for about an Hour or more (the longer you photograph, the longer your Star Trails will be in your final photograph).
 
When finished Import the photographs from the camera in to a folder on your computer.
 
Whats Next ? Download this program called "StarStax" by Markus Enzweiler, it is Totally Freeware (no hidden costs or other installers etc) :
 
 
The program will "Stack and Blend" all your photographs in to one "Star Trail" Photograph, with no confusing settings for you to set, just drag and drop all your images into the left hand plane (set "Gap Filling" under the "Blending" tab on the right), then hit "Start Processing" (Icon top left area of program)
 
When it is finished click "Save As" (Icon top left area of program)
 
Done  :-)
 
So maybe give it a try and post your results back here for everyone to see, also if possable include your camera settings to help others who would like to try it out
 
(and if you have a lens cap on your camera dont forget to take if off, as I have done a couple of times)  :-(  :-)
gjjap_filling.jpg

Accepted Solutions
Nomad
Posts: 364

Re: How to take Star Trail Photographs with the Hero 4

If you would like to make a "Star Trail" Video like the one shown below the StarStax program can help with this as well, just use the settings for the program (above), this time also tick (under the Blending Tab on right) "Save after each step" and select an Output folder (A different from the folder you have your original pictures in).
 
This time when the program has finished you will have a folder with your pictures in that are ideal for using in GoPro Studio to create your Star Trail video.
 
 
And again maybe post your results here for us all to see.
 

(On the Video below after importing the pictures into Gopro Studio I slowed the video down to 42 percent and added "Flux" when saving the video)
 

View solution in original post


All Replies
Nomad
Posts: 364

Re: How to take Star Trail Photographs with the Hero 4

If you would like to make a "Star Trail" Video like the one shown below the StarStax program can help with this as well, just use the settings for the program (above), this time also tick (under the Blending Tab on right) "Save after each step" and select an Output folder (A different from the folder you have your original pictures in).
 
This time when the program has finished you will have a folder with your pictures in that are ideal for using in GoPro Studio to create your Star Trail video.
 
 
And again maybe post your results here for us all to see.
 

(On the Video below after importing the pictures into Gopro Studio I slowed the video down to 42 percent and added "Flux" when saving the video)
 
Nomad
Posts: 364

Re: How to take Star Trail Photographs with the Hero 4

[ Edited ]

The Starstax program works well with Car Light trails as well  :-)

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Nomad
Posts: 364

Re: How to take Star Trail Photographs with the Hero 4

Just one more example Star Trail Photograph using the Hero 4
 
Shot during a full moon eclipse (but pointing the camera in the opposite direction), using the full moon to "light" the house
 
Then as the eclipse started the house started getting darker (until it could not be seen at all), I started increasing the exposure to help capture the stars.
 
Starting at 2 seconds per shot (full moon), and as the eclipse started I increased the exposure to 5 seconds per shot, when the eclipse was nearly full I increased the exposure to 15 seconds per shot.
 
 900 photographs taken at 2 sec
 900 photographs taken at 5 sec
 150 photographs taken at 15 sec
 
All at ISO limit 800
White Balance : 3000K
Camera set to Night lapse
Interval set to continuous
 
Again all photographs stacked and blended into one photograph with the StarStax program
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Nomad
Posts: 364

Re: How to take Star Trail Photographs with the Hero 4

GoPro Hero 4 Silver, Mode set to Night Lapse, 30 seconds per exposure, ISO 400, White Balance 3000K, Interval set to Continuous, 140 photographs taken then blended into one photograph
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Explorer
Posts: 10,965

Re: How to take Star Trail Photographs with the Hero 4

@spirymesa18
Thank you so much for sharing! Very informative and beautiful shots! Well done 😁

Regards,

Daniel
Nomad
Posts: 364

Re: How to take Star Trail Photographs with the Hero 4

Too much cloud cover to do Startrail photography at the moment, so here is a nightlapse of the Clouds  :-)

 

Explorer
Posts: 10,965

Re: How to take Star Trail Photographs with the Hero 4

You're getting some amazing use out of your GoPro Hero! This is all with the hero4 silver, right?

I'm still on hero3+ black, which I love, but so very jealous of what you are capturing. I did get the Session ( muy favorite all around camera on the go) but I thought there might be a hero4+ so I held off. Now I'm impatiently waiting for October and the Hero5.

Please keep sharing! I keep showing my wife your beautiful shots, she's almost about to break down and let me get a hero4 😁

Regards,

Daniel