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Friday, August 30, 2013

Startrail session - II by Q8 Expats Photography Club

This is indeed another successful event hosted by Q8 Expats Photography Club! Today i will be sharing my awesome experience once again with one of the best photography groups in Kuwait!
August 30, 2013 (Friday at 4:30 pm). I was very excited and geared up for my 2nd star trailing activity with Q8EPC. (See my first star trail post) The organizers had set 4th Ring road as the first meeting point of the event. It was originally scheduled to take place  in Salmi desert, however they end up choosing Umm Al Aish (Earth Station before the Gulf war in 1991) as the  location, mainly because the area has more foreground sceneries (Buildings, trees etc..) compared to Salmi desert. Route map to the location (from the meeting point to the destination).

The concepts of the event are pretty simple. It is mainly focused on 2 subjects as below;

1. Star Trailing

Star Trails are paths left by the stars, seen from the earth. As the earth spins, the stars appears to move and circle in the sky. We live in northern hemisphere, so Polaris (the north star) is in line with our axis of rotation and doesn't appear to move. Basically, you will need to keep the camera rolling for hours and let it take pictures of stars at preset intervals (I used 30 seconds interval in 3 1/2 hours and had a total of 375 shots for my star trail pic. ). Finally, you stack all the images and you get a sky filled with circular lines :)

2. Steel Wool Spinning.

Steel wool spinning is considered as one of the most exciting forms of Light Painting photography. An actual steel wool lighting demo was done later that night, and some of us had the chance to capture amazing images of which I will be showing below.

Moments of the meet up:

Adil Javed - Organizer

First meet up point with the Red bull team


Below are the required gears for a Star Trail activity

1. DSLR Camera
2. A sturdy tripod
3. Cable release / Intervalometer
4. Extra batteries
5. High capacity memory card
6. Torch/Lights/Flash (for light painting)

Some useful tips:

1. Make sure your car battery is in good condition
2. Wear boots as the desert is unpredictable
3. Bring a chair/mat to relax as its going to be a long night.

To capture perfect Star Trail image, the below components should be well understood, properly monitored and applied..

     1. Focusing
     2. Composition
     3. White Balance
     4. Single shot vs. Stacking

Below are some of the beautiful Star Trail images i have collected from the event;

Image courtesy of Adil Javed.. Thank you for the arrangements and guidance
My Star Trail Image
Image courtesy of Ishqification
Image courtesy of Manoj M. Olikara

Image courtesy of Misbah Hashmi
The stars will be visible as Photo..

 Light painting moments



The climate was great and we even felt a slight cool breeze later that night, which is never really expected in summer. The sky was so clear and no dust was present during the event.

Bonus Credits: I enjoyed the event a lot because I had the chance to meet my group mates again and  had spent enjoyable hours with my close supportive friends Manoj, Kiran & Karen...(Sandeep.. We miss you...)

Once again, Congratulations to Q8 Expats Photography Club! Hoping to have more successful events in the future!