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I think that this shot turned out rather nice. I wasn’t quite sure how I wanted to process it and when I did it in color it just didn’t seem to work out so well. I ended up first processing it in LR then converted to B&W. I’m not sure why but I can never seem to get B&W photos to look the way I want in LR. I always finish the processing in Silver Efex Pro. The effect that I like to get is to get the dark areas more dark and add a bit more contrast to the other areas to give it more effect. With this photo though I was not even happy after going through Silver Efex Pro so I ended up taking it back into LR again because the trees were too over powering so I ended up lowering the exposure on those a bit in order to put more emphasis on the house.
When it was in color I think it was too busy and I barely even noticed the house as the trees stood out so much. I think the way I processed it my main priority was to make the house the main focus point with the star trails as secondary and the trees as more of a helpful prop to make the house stand out a bit more rather than take away from the effect. I kind of wanted to go into the house and do a star trail photo looking out a window but upon inspecting the house I noticed that the upstairs floor was dipping down quite low so I didn’t even want to chance it.
For this shot I ended up doing two exposures at 10 minutes each at 16mm, f/4 and ISO 100. For one exposure I did light painting on the house and trees and the second exposure I left them as silhouettes. The application I use will take the brightest parts of all the photos and stack them so it’s nice to not have to do light painting on all the photos. Originally I’ve always been interested in longer star trails but after processing these I think the smaller ones may give a bit more emphasis on motion. Not really sure but the good thing is that it’s much less time consuming and I can still get good results. Next time I attempt star trails I think I’ll try an ISO of 50 and be able to get a longer exposure. I’ll have to experiment a bit to see how it works out or something.