Bristlecone Pine Star Trails

I’m sounding like a broken record but I’m still processing timelapses from Arizona back in August whenever I have free time but recently I tried my hand at photo stacking again and was floored by what I got:


About a little more than a year ago, I drove out about 5 hours to a magical little place I know about and waited until the moon set. I then hiked out a mile or more and set up to take a timelapse of this gorgeous, 4000 year old tree.

The timelapse is okay, the collapsed photo stack is about a million times better in my opinion. I don’t understand masking (yet) but I understand the way my brain processing the concept of masking is inverted; so I’m trying to re-train my brain to think in Photoshop terms. BUT, I was able to stack these images and erase the background “static” stars from the base layer image that sits underneath the rest of the 100 or more images that create the star trails, and that made me really happy.

I lit the tree in one 20 second exposure with my headlamp and it turned out perfect. I’m not psyched on the red light trail in the lower right; but I was too lazy to retrace each layer to find that one image and reprocess so there it is. All red up in there.

But for someone who doesn’t work in Photoshop often, this is without a doubt the coolest image I’ve ever done. I had no idea I was even positioned to capture the North Star perfectly – the happiest accident. I hope you enjoy it!

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1 Response to Bristlecone Pine Star Trails

  1. April vincak says:

    Oh, good god, love it! You never cease to amaze me

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