Education Tutorial

Creating One-shot Vortex Star Trails

October 8, 2015

Vortex star trails are the most complex trails to capture. It also requires a special motorized system to drive the zoom ring of a lens smoothly without shaking the camera while the shutter is open. The slow and gradual zoom in or out during the exposure period helps create the tunnel or vortex effect in star trails.

The technique shown in this video eliminates the need to buy such apparatus which is helpful for those who are hobbyists and tight on budget. Using only a single shot of the stars, you can now create amazing vortex star trails and add an artistic touch of color to them. Another major benefit of this technique is that it will give you flexibility on location and you will not have to spend hours taking hundreds of shots at a single spot for creating star trails.

Download StarStax

You can read my detailed article about Star Trails on Digital Photography School by clicking on the thumbnail below:

Single Image Star Trails – a Powerful Technique to Create Star Trails in Minutes Using Photoshop


Feel free to post your questions regarding this video tutorial. Enjoy!



Hi, I am Hammad Iqbal, a professional photographer based in Doha. Welcome to the "HI Blog" where I share tutorials, tips and techniques about shooting and post-processing images using Lightroom and Photoshop. Follow my updates by subscribing to my newsletter and discover with me the art of photography and post-processing!

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