17 Awesome Star Trail Images

17 Awesome Star Trail Images

Shooting a star trail is something that is easy on paper: using just the equipment you already own, aiming to the sky and shooting long exposure. But in reality it takes months and years to really perfect your craft and create amazing star trail images. In the past we featured a tutorial on sky photography, and also this amazing star trail image NASA photographer shot from space - now it's time to show you some amazing results of different photographers around the world. Check them out and let us know which ones are your favorites.

Ever shot star trails? Share them with us on our Facebook Group.

Mauna Kea Star Trails - [EXPLORED]
Photo: Andreas Koeberl.

Perseid Meteors Penetrating Circumpolar Star Trails
Photo: Michael Menefee.

Photo: Lincoln Harrison (Harry).

Midnight Sky over Half Dome, Yosemite National Park
Photo: Tyler Westcott.

Stars trails
Photo: Wilfried.B.

All the colors around the world
Photo: Zeb Andrews

Semenyih Lake Startrails - my lucky night!
Photo: KalerBlind.

East Point Lighthouse Star Trails / Meteors
Photo: Jack Fusco.

High Desert Nightscape: Monument, Oregon
Photo: Ivan Sohrakoff.

Pale band of Light formed by Stars in the Galactic Plane as seen from Earth
Photo: Kane Gledhill .

The purpose is to help your fellow man, go through thick and thin together, and out the otherside emerge victorious.
Photo: Joshua Robertson.

Leave the lights on for me
Photo: Sheldon Nalos.

The Passing Milky Way
Photo: Eric Hines.

Startrails from ABC
Photo: Anton Jankovoy.

the lighthouse of heaven II
Photo: david keochkerian.

*2 of the photos were removed by the request of their creator.

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Do you guys even *know* what copyright infringement is?  Attribution does not necessarily mean permission. The first photo is not public domain or creative-commons licensed...  it's licensed by Getty... it's right there on the guy's Flickr page.

Russ Gillespie's picture

How do you know they haven't already asked his permission?

Oh, I don't know for sure, of course, but this is coming off last week's "25 Mind-Blowing Copyright Violations" post that clearly stole every one of the 25 photos. It's no longer up.

I checked half a dozen of the photos on this post, and all were "All Rights Reserved", with a few licensed by Getty and others by others. It's certainly not impossible that FStopper's bought the licenses, but in absence of the "used with permission" you'd expect of a site like this, and in light of their recent history, it's likely that FStoppers' business model is of the "easier to ask forgiveness than permission" variety. Disappointing.

Wait, if the images are given credit (name and link at the bottom of every image) and assuming they asked permission wouldn't that be done correctly?

Credit (name/link) is irrelevant to permission (unless its a condition of permission, such as it is with a Creative Commons license).  *If* they asked for permission, and *if* it was granted, then that's fine, and perhaps that's exactly what happened, but especially given their track record of late, it seems highly unlikely. 

Agamemnon's picture

Fratilor, va spun deschis
Pula e un paradis.
Nu va mai certati asa,
Dati-va in pula mea.
(De americani tampiti spalati pe creier cu soda caustica)

Max Leitner's picture

I think the editors here just dont have a clue about the copyrights. I wouldnt insult fstoppers though. 

Noam Galai's picture

I know a thing or two about copyrights ;) just saying

I'm actually the owner of one of these photos that is listed on here and also listed as All Rights Reserved. And while I would have no problem with FStoppers including my shot on the list, it would've been nice if they had asked or at least sent me some kind of message before hand. 
- Jack

Noam Galai's picture

1. If you want us to remove your image please let me know and I'll do it right away!

2. I feature ONLY images that their owners allow blogs to embed them. If you wish blogs to stop featuring your work like this - you should go to the settings and change it. this way no one will be able to do it like that.

Noam, sorry but you really don't know "a thing or two" about copyright.  You and other writers on FS really need to learn these, else, you're loosing your credibility fast.  I for one removed FS from my bookmarks recently.  Your second point above is the same as saying "I only post photos that are on the internet".

Noam Galai's picture

I really do know ;)

Is it ok for me to embed on my blog a youtube video someone else created and posted on youtube? or share it on my facebook page? 
On Flickr, each user have the option to allow, or not allow others to embed and share their work. "Allow others to share your stuff: Yes". People who mark it as "NO" - i never share them.

You really don't know. You're confusing a technical ability with legal permission. Someone leaving the house unlocked for the plumber doesn't imply it's fine for you to walk in to take a shower.

Noam Galai's picture

If thats the case, if you embed a youtube video on facebook youre doing wrong as well. true? 

I don't know the precedent on embedding video, but it wouldn't surprise me if it's different from photos because in the common YouTube/Vimeo embedding scenarios, the trappings of YouTube/Vimeo remain apparent to the viewer. But I don't know, sorry.

Frankly, I don't think photo embedding should be considered "publishing" for copyright purposes (even though it's my understanding that US courts don't agree with me) and I wouldn't have commented so strongly early in this thread if I had noticed that the majority of images were embedded, but Fstoppers is clearly hosting the lead image (as it does in all your "Flickr Spotlight" posts), and I didn't have to look far into your posting history, Noam, to find lots of famous photos copied and rehosted on Fstoppers (e.g. http://fstoppers.com/time-magazine-2012-photos-of-the-year ). Those photos are licensed by AP, Reuters, Time, and others... since you "know a thing or two" about copyright, surely you secured proper licensing for all of them, correct?

Noam Galai's picture

all the images in my Flickr articles are embedded.. 

as for the TIME thingy - it was approved ahead of posting ;)


Good to hear you had permission on the Time photos.

I checked my own Flickr about this option to allow sharing of images, since this is the first I heard of it. For one it is set to yes standard, and this is what Flickr says it means:
'You can set a preference that determines whether sharing features (such as Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and others) are shown for other people on your public content. These features will always show for you on your content.'

This is clearly not the same as allowing a commercial website to use your image to make profit (traffic on your website is profit from advertisements etc). This is the option of the sharing buttons above your images (email, twitter, facebook). I am not saying I wouldn't like my images to be here, since it's great exposure, but I am pretty sure you're still required to ask beforehand to the photographer if you're allowed to share his image on Fstoppers. If you don't, you might get a bill later on ;)


Come on Fstoppers! If you claim to be by/for photographers at least play nice.

So what are you saying, Noam? You're clarifying that your copyright infringement is willful instead of simply ignorant negligence? I would not have guessed that betting that no one will ever bother to actually bring a $150k-per-incidence lawsuit would be a good business model, but that seems to be what Fstoppers has been doing time and again.

I created a tutorial for how to create star trails photos recently, if anyone wants to make their own: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V6ypRbPzoPM

Here's the photo from the example shoot, taken at an abandoned asylum: http://500px.com/photo/23835687

Andreas Feustel's picture

 Thank you Tony for sharing your skills in this excellent tutorial!


Tony, I think by embedding your own youtube video here you are infringing on your own copyright.  If you are, by chance, a lawyer, I would recommend hiring yourself to sue yourself for a ton of money.  Plus, as lawyer, you get 1/3!


Most of these are stunning, check out my trails here http://500px.com/photo/20140873 taken on the most basic equipment, samsung NX5, proves you don't even need a good ISO performance to still get great images.

Here's mine! :)

Fstoppers is a joke.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/gipukan/7863010334/ my

Startrail test

test in france at a full lit campsite.

I've had a few tries at star trails. I actually have a few projects which I haven't got around to processing yet...
My last finished one was this http://500px.com/photo/6213398

Andy Hodapp's picture

My attempt http://www.flickr.com/photos/66627224@N02/8355808892/in/photostream