But I must explain to you how all this mistaken idea of denouncing pleasure and praising pain was born and I will give you a complete account of the system, and expound the actual teachings of the great explorer of the truth, the master-builder of human happiness. No one rejects, dislikes, or avoids pleasure itself, because it is pleasure, but because those who do not know how to pursue pleasure rationally encounter consequences that are extremely painful. Nor again is there anyone who loves or pursues or desires to obtain pain of itself, because it is pain, but because occasionally circumstances occur in which toil and pain can procure him some great pleasure.

If a scene has a lot going on in the foreground, stars represented as pinpoints may complement the scene, rather than overwhelm it.
Deborah Sandidge, photographer

Exposure starting point: Nikon’s Steve Heiner does quite a bit of time-lapse moviemaking—of varied subjects—including the stars traversing across the night sky. We asked him for suggested exposures to start off with. And, because digital cameras let you see what you just captured, you can double check the exposures and make quick adjustments on the fly.
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Shooting time-lapse sequences is similar to shooting a single image in that exposure is based on the shooting conditions. For time-lapse photography of the stars in the night sky, use an aperture of about f/5.6 if the moon is full, f/2.8 if the moon is not full. In manual exposure mode, shoot a test shot at 10 seconds. “I would always recommend using the manual exposure mode to avoid the exposure changing from one frame to the next which can cause an annoying flicker in the final time-lapse movie,” suggests Steve.

Check the image by zooming in on the LCD, to see if you can see the stars and any detail in the foreground. Adjust ISO, aperture and shutter duration for a good overall exposure without letting the shutter speed go any slower than 20 seconds or so, otherwise you’ll end up with the stars beginning to streak into star trails due to the Earth’s movement. If you’re using a very wide-angle lens, slower shutter speeds may not be that noticeable, however you will see the streaking in images that are shot with a normal to telephoto lens. Turn ON the Long Exposure Noise Reduction feature to keep noise to a minimum.