This is an image that I’ve had in mind for a while but hadn’t actually remembered to go shoot.
The trick with this is that you can’t just open the shutter for a long period of time, ie: 30 minutes. If you were to do that, the light pollution from the city would eventually over power the stars and you’d have nothing but a glow of city light and very few stars.
So how do we do this? Well to start you’re going to need either a body capable of interval shooting or a cable release with a shutter lock. Once you’ve got one of those, you’re going to need to shoot a LOT of images, all at the same settings, over the course of 20-30minutes (or longer really, longer the better).
Once you’ve got your 100 or so images, each a long exposure, you’ll be combining them in Photoshop to form one image, like the one below.
This image is made from 95 images, each 30 seconds in length at f/2.8 ISO200. Body: Nikon D3 and 24-70 lens, cropped to 8×10, shot from Cape Spear, Newfoundland
In this photo you can see the stars which make up the big dipper, planes landing at St. John’s International Airport (CYYT), a boat going out to sea, the car lights from Signal Hill, Fort Amherst and the East End of St. John’s.