Michael Breitung Photography


Tutorials - Complete Workflow for processing Star Trail Photos

In this video tutorial I show my complete workflow for processing star trail photos. Similar to my Tutorial for processing night photos, my main focus here is to reflect the atmosphere of the night while showing enough detail to create interest in the foreground. But I also took the liberty to include some glow from twilight here, which serves as light source for the landscape.

As for my other tutorials, another main objective is to create photos of the highest possible quality so a large print will be possible.

Star Trails over some magnificent mountins in the Desert of Morocco

Tutorial Content

The complete tutorial is a bit above 100 minutes in length. For a better viewing experience I have split it into 11 sections. This way it's easy to revisit interesting parts of the workflow and to incorporate a selection of the techniques into the processing of your star trail photos.

After a short introduction video, I talk about how I planned and photographed the photo, which in the end consisted of 12 photos for the star trails, one dark frame and 6 photos for focus stacking and exposure blending.

Then I show the pre-processing in Lightroom, followed by the star trails stacking in Star Stax and Startrails.

I then continue in Photoshop with noise reduction techniques before I show how I blended the photo. The blending is the most important part of the processing and lays the foundation for further creative processing.

After some finishing touches in Luminar I show you my multi-pass sharpening, which I use to enhance the details in the photo.

Finally I prepare the photo for web. The print preparation is this time not included. For this I have three very detailed tutorials available, which you can watch here for free.


This video tutorial is for the advanced Photoshop user. I assume that you are familiar with layers, masks, filters and adjustment layers. If not, please watch my free tutorials first. On this site you will also find links to the plugins I use. If you have watched my other tutorials this is perfect and will make it easier to follow along, but it's not mandatory.

I use Adobe Lightroom 6 and Photoshop CS6 in the tutorial. Photoshop CS5 or later is generally sufficient to apply the techniques I use here. I also use filters of the Nik Collection during multi-pass sharpening - I also show an alternative, which uses just Photoshop filters. The Nik Collection is available for free using the provided link. Another Plugin I use is Luminar 3. Using the provided link you can currently get it for free, if you subscribe to their Newsletter.

I already mentioned Startrails, which is also free. I use it for blending the star trail photos.

Buying the Tutorial

The complete tutorial is around 100 Minutes long and can be purchased for 40 USD. This is a link to an automatic delivery system I've set up to make the purchase more comfortable for you. After you pay, you'll get a temporary download link to the tutorial.

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You can contact me through the contact sheet on my homepage, if anything goes wrong with payment or download. If you don't have Paypal, that's also no problem. The shop supports credit cards. If nothing works for you, just contact me and we'll find another way.