While spending the evening outside Barstow, I had the wonderful opportunity to relax in the desert by myself to shoot the stars over Calico. It was one hell of an evening. I had yet to really give the long exposure test a try and the E-M5 blew me away. This lil bugger has the neatest lil feature in that it will show you an updated preview of your exposure as it progresses. Now I had been testing it a few times before this shot above and I love it.

I must admit however, the feature didn’t get used during this image because it was shot at a length of 20 minutes. I had done a number of 1, 5, 10 and 15 minute spans to see how it turns out… then I just hammered one out for the long run. This image in particular ended up taking nearly an hour to complete. This is due to the double down of time to take the exposure. Any duration you choose to complete with the Olympus must be doubled when figuring your time at the shutter. 20 minutes of open lens, will equal roughly the same for the process to complete after the shutter is closed. Not necessarily a problem and likely the norm. Personally I never conducted long exposure shots before with my 550D, so it very well may be the same result.

I must at this point give my full recommendation for the Olympus OM-D for long exposures. It was a champ, with only slight noise…  One caveat that may very well be my own mistake however. I would have continued the exposure beyond 20 minutes, but it seems the camera decides to end the process at the 20 minute mark on its own accord. It may be a setting that I have yet to find in order to increase that, so if any one out there have any tips, please pass them along to me. Would be interested in pushing the envelope further.

This is also my first attempt at shooting “star trails,” so I hope you dig the way it turned out. I sure as hell do enjoy what I came out with. 🙂

Sidenote: This did require post process to bring the blacks back and remove noise, as it was substantially brighter than what is seen here. I had the misfortune of camping down about a quarter mile from a bloody gas station up the road that light polluted the sky something far more intensely than I had expected. But it all worked out in the end. Also, not really sure why, but when I upload to the blog here or Flickr, I keep getting a boxy pixelation that does not show up in the original… Oh well.

Looking forward to taking some more over the bay here in NorCal. 🙂