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The Star Trail: Night Photography by Ben Canales

By Ryan Hanson on April 15th 2013

While checking the weather forecast for a shoot I had this weekend I headed over to like I always do and I noticed a great night photo so I followed the link. It was a short article with a series of night photos all by Portland, Oregon based photographer Ben Canales. I noticed a shot that looked familiar and I didn’t know why until I saw that it won the Grand Prize in National Geographic’s Traveler Photo Contest in 2011. Thats where I had first seen the photo below.

"Oh! Did you see that one? Hurry, make a wish!" by Ben Canales

“Oh! Did you see that one? Hurry, make a wish!” by Ben Canales

Ben writes about this photo on his 500px page:

In youth, the stars were fertilizer for stories and adventures. Shooting stars became wishes. Late summer nights laying out alone or with friends were the moments our lives took on idealized direction- goals and ambitions took root while wide eyed at the lights in the sky. We didn’t know it, but the crazy talk and thoughts wild with no limit in that big sky were our dreams forming. Goals and ambition quietly crystallized under the stars.

For those that are inspired by Ben’s work and want to give it a go on your next outing or camping trip, below is a tutorial he made a few years ago but its very helpful and will get you going in the rigt direction.

Landscape Astrophotography Tutorial – First Night Out from Ben Canales on Vimeo.

Below is more of Ben’s work, be sure to check it out and then head over to Ben’s Facebook page for a ton more images and what he has been working on lately. Ben is also part of a video production company called Uncage the Soul that does a bunch of amazing timelapse videos that we will feature here in a later post.

The Star Trail

With Friends by Ben Canales

With Friends by Ben Canales

"...keep going 'til there's nothing higher..." by Ben Canales

“…keep going ’til there’s nothing higher…” by Ben Canales

King of the Mountain by Ben Canales

King of the Mountain by Ben Canales

Wise Tent on the Hill by Ben Canales

Wise Tent on the Hill by Ben Canales

Sometimes Alone by Ben Canales Sometimes Alone by Ben Canales

Credits: Photographs by Ben Canales have been used with permission for SLR Lounge. Do not copy, modify or re-post this article or images without express permission from SLR Lounge and the artist.

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Ryan is a photographer based out of Orange County interested in all types of Photography focusing on Wedding and Portraiture and a passion for Outdoor and Sports Photography in his free time.

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Joseph Prusa

    Thanks for posting

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  2. Jeff Morrison

    Thanks for sharing looking forward to trying it out

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  3. Deryk Eynon

    Never knew that simple cameras could do this! I always thought you had to use a motorized system to keep everything in focus. So cool! I’m going to have to try this!!! Thanks

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  4. Lee Sadler

    How did I not see this before? This is so helpful!

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  5. Andre Goulet

    Now I’m just itchin’ for some blue skies…

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  6. Ben Canales

    olaf, check out a fantastic free online program called Stellarium. It’s amazing help in knowing what stars are where- including the Milky Way!

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  7. Olaf Paulsen

    Thanks for explaining your methods of night shooting. Beautiful pics. I had been wondering about the ISO range and the positioning of the camera, without knowing where exactly the location of the stars were. Great job. Much appreciated

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