I got some emails asking me about my last post, particularly the night shot. But the questions weren’t on shooting at high ISOs, rather did I shoot any long exposures for star trails. The answer is yes! I initially stopped shooting long exposure star trail shots when digital cameras were first introduced simply because the final image was too noisy. Later I started doing one hour exposures comprised of stacking numerous 30 second exposures. Stacking eliminated the long exposure noise issue, but did require more time in Photoshop to get the final shot. But now I am back to square one; set my D4 for ISO 100, F2.8 at ‘Bulb’ and use a locking cable release to hold the shutter open for 1 hour on longer. I shot this image (above) at Sand Dunes NP a few days ago using this technique. I turned on my camera’s long exposure noise reduction, which doubles the exposure/processing time. So my shutter was open for an hour, and then my LCD blinked ‘job NR’ for an hour as the camera performed noise reduction. And despite what many might think, I barely used noise reduction on the final shot; the images look great, no color shifts, and barely any noise. Also, the D4 battery can crank out two 1 hour shots (that’s 4 hours of ‘on’ time with noise reduction included) before I need to recharge the battery. If you have a full frame camera, try a 1 hour shot and check your results. You might be surprised at how well the final image looks.