Tonight the weather actually cooperated for long enough for me to throw the camera on the tripod and set up in the back yard to do a test shoot for some more serious star trails.
I'd mentioned that I think I know what I'm doing now but tonight didn't seem to work out that well. I ended up shooting a 26 minute exposure at f/3.5, ISO 200, triggered via remote and aimed straight up at nothing but black sky filled with stars.
After 26 minutes I went outside to check my results and I had an image of a white, blown out square on my screen. No stars. No sky. Just blown out white.
It wasn't supposed to be anything fancy; more a shot to see if my camera (which is only capable of a maximum 30 minute exposure) could handle this type of shot without catching on fire and blowing up causing severe injury to any unfortunate passerby within a 30 yard radius.
I think my problem was the backyard light emitted from my neighbors porch and subsequent light reflected from my other neighbors olympic sized backyard hockey rink may have been picked up more than anything else by my camera's sensor, hence the overexposed white blob I ended up with.
Since my original location is closed to the public for the next 3 to 4 weeks, I'm not sure I will get the chance to carry out experiment #2 any time in the near future. Time will tell.
On a brighter note, I did get out this morning and shoot some local animals. When I went over these shots with Lightroom (on my laptop) I thought they looked perfect on my monitor. When I got home and viewed them on my other monitor they looked a lot more contrasty and saturated. Almost too contrasty for some reason. I dunno, have a look see...
See what I mean. Too contrasty.