Saturday, November 23, 2013

Useful Software : StarStax

Stars in the night sky above Lake Okanagan in a long exposure by Chris Gardiner Photography www.cgardiner.ca, created in CometMode with StarStax Software on a Mac
Comet Mode in StarStax!
If you use a mac, you can understand the plight in finding the software commonly recommended for a particular job or task, and it's always Windows based.  StarStax is an excellent program to use for the Mac system that will fire together your big star trail compilations with ease.

If you are someone who was doing them manually in photoshop, maybe opening only 20 images at a time to keep your system from crashing - this program will definitely help you out.  One of those 'set it and forget it' kinda programs the way PhotoMatix does your HDR if you swing that way. haha.



Do you like the image above done in starstax's "comet mode"?  Do you know the original way to achieve this method, that is completely lost on the new digital SLRs? Well you used to have your aperture ring on the outside of your lens, and set it similar to the way you would twist a ring to zoom, or to focus.

Well over the course of your one single photo (no stacking software hahaha) you would gradually open the aperture. Maybe starting at f/22 to get tiny little pinprick stars, and blowing the doors wide open to your max aperture, maybe like f/2.8 by the end of it if you could, to make your comet-like stars have big comet-like tips - something the software could never mimic.




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