So here's the result from my 1st night at my star trails workshop last month. It was a terrific learning experience and I'm pleased as punch with the result.
This was taken in a place called Alabama Hills near the eastern Sierra Nevada Mountains, west of Lone Pine, CA. These hills are full of rock formations and are a popular location for TV and movie productions (in fact, they were shooting a car/truck commercial while we were there...). Some classic movies have been filmed here, like Bad Day at Black Rock and How the West Was Won and Gunga Din, as well as more modern films, like Tremors and Gladiator and Iron Man.
We were in a little spot called Gunga Din, though I don't know if the movie was actually shot IN this little area or if the area was given this name because the movie was shot nearby. It was VERY cold and VERY windy (elevation is approx. 4600 feet) and I froze! But I ended up with a really cool shot, so I'm not complaining. On subsequent nights I put on everything I'd brought with me to keep warm!
The trails form a circle because I was facing due north. The white dot in the center is Polaris. I didn't realize at the time that I WAS facing due north - I was hoping I'd get some circles (as opposed to lines) but didn't know where the center point would be.
I'm amazed all over again every time I look at this.