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Capture Beautiful Star Trail Photos Using a GoPro

Quick settings for capturing the night sky

Capturing beautiful star trail photos has never been easier than it is today. It wasn’t that long ago that if you wanted to capture these kinds of images you needed to shoot a bunch of individual long exposures and then stitch them together in post, but these days a number of digital cameras have built in settings that make capturing the starry night sky a lot easier. The newer models of GoPro cameras include a setting for doing just this and in a new video Matthew Vandeputte shares his tips for star trail photography. 

Traditional star trail photography typically means getting outside of a light polluted city and into a remote area. Thankfully, newer cameras make it easier to capture the beauty of the stars without having to travel far from home. Vandeputte actually prefers to capture  star trails in more urban areas. Here’s how he manages to capture the beauty of the night sky while living in a densely populated area with a large number of airports. 

Step 1: 

In the GoPro, swipe into TimeLapse mode and select Star Trail mode. 

Step 2: 

In Star Trail mode adjust the Star Trail to Max to capture continuous light trails. Set exposure somewhere between 2 and 10 seconds. Set resolution to the highest possible setting.  

Step 3: 

Set a 3 second timer to avoid unwanted camera shake when you begin the time lapse.


Step 4: 

Under the advanced Protune settings you should set max and min ISO to 800 to keep exposures consistent from frame to frame and minimize noise. 

Step 5: 

Set your GoPro somewhere stable and start shooting. Vandeputte recommends setting the time limit to No Limit and just letting the GoPro shoot until the battery runs dry—make sure to plug the GoPro in if you are planning to shoot overnight.

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