photoshop creative
Jul
11

Create a star trail effect

Posted in:
Magazine, by The Photoshop Creative Team
July 11, 2011

Here is an excerpt from a tutorial featured in issue 76 of Photoshop Creative
A very interesting branch of photography focuses on taking multiple, time-lapsed photos of objects such as lights or stars and then using Photoshop to stack them together to create trails. A good DSLR camera is needed for this as well as a tripod, a remote and lots of patience. You also need a good, clear night away from any major cities. The results can be amazing, but not everyone has the time or equipment to do this. …

Here is an excerpt from a tutorial featured in issue 76 of Photoshop Creative

A very interesting branch of photography focuses on taking multiple, time-lapsed photos of objects such as lights or stars and then using Photoshop to stack them together to create trails. A good DSLR camera is needed for this as well as a tripod, a remote and lots of patience. You also need a good, clear night away from any major cities. The results can be amazing, but not everyone has the time or equipment to do this. Luckily, with Photoshop at hand, you can fake it.

A lot of new features were released with Photoshop CS5. This latest version has tools and techniques that were not available on previous incarnations, for example, content-aware healing. A new action was also included called Star Trails, which creates the effect without the need to be up all night.

In this tutorial we will show you how to make a basic star field and then use the action to create a trail as if you’ve captured the stars on their nightly rotation. We will also look at how to use Channels for easy masking and Hue/Saturation adjustments to change the lighting from day to night. Finally we will merge the star trail with the photography. We have also included a star trail image so the tutorial can be used by those without CS5; simply skip steps 9 to 11.