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Astro Photography

astro photography, how to take photos of stars, how to take photos of the night sky, how to take pictures of stars, how to take photographs of the night sky, how to take photos of the milky way, how to take photos of the milky way,how to take pictures of the milky way

Photo By Paolo Gadler

Even if you are just beginning to learn about photography you will be aware of the special requirements for capturing subjects that are in the dark or with very low light available.  Most people are aware of this when they first purchase a point and shoot camera for everyday use.

Evening cityscapes with the glimmer of thousands of lights require special settings and planning before a successful image can be captured. There are also special methods needed to capture celestial objects like the moon or the stars, and a modern digital camera is the ideal tool for night time photography.

The basic requirement of a digital camera for night time photography is to have:

·        A Fully Manual mode (Many automatic settings are too fast to take a proper photo of the night sky)

·        Self-Timer (This removes your “hand shake” and prevents blur)

·        Tripod (Will help you to take repeat images without blur)

Taking a Few Practice Shots

With a digital camera on full manual mode all of the settings required for ideal photos can be adjusted to allow for exterior lighting or brightness. A digital camera also allows for experimentation and many “retakes” if necessary. Take a few images with the slowest shutter speeds and the aperture fully open, this may allow in too much light, but you will be able to review your photos and make adjustments as necessary. Then it is just a matter of adjusting the shutter speed and/or aperture to get the picture you desire.

Shooting the Paths of the Stars

A fun project in night time photography is to leave the shutter open for greatly extended periods of times, for minutes or tens of minutes, to trace the paths of the stars overhead. This is best achieved by composing the picture to have a focal point, such as a tree or horizon line to heighten the drama in the travelling stars above. A great idea is to put the camera, on its tripod, on the ground with trees and grass surrounding.

Another method of night time photography involves photographing the moon, which is a great deal trickier than it sounds. The moon is best photographed when there is a comparative object, such as a cityscape or tall building nearest to it in the image. The same manual adjustments and tripod usage will have to occur when photographing the moon as when photographing stars in the night sky. Next a process called “bracketing” (or simply experimentation) will be employed to determine the best settings for a good image. The manual focus is set at infinity then the exposure level is determined by using each shutter speed through the 1/1000 setting, while the aperture or f-stop is at 5.6. Film or ISO speed of 200 is recommended for moon photography. Keep checking results on the LCD and soon a perfect image of the moon will be recorded on the camera!

About the Author

Amy is an multi-award winning photographer from Australia. She teaches enthusiast photographers how to take beautiful, professional photos in easy, plain English. She has a monthly photography emagazine and ebooks to help you create stunning images every time. DigitalPhotographySuccess.com

Comments (14)

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  1. aparadekto says:

    Hey, I can’t view your site properly within Opera, I actually hope you look into fixing this.

    • Thanks for letting us know. We are still in the process of building this site. I do not know what “Opera” is but we’ll look into it to make the site as functional as possible. Thanks and have a great day. :)

  2. DityfucsRezo says:

    Thought is the blossom; language the bud; action the fruit behind it. Once you go further with photography you understand how much depth there is to it.

  3. RilatcuKIMO says:

    Thanks the author for a good post. Has completely read, has gathered a lot of valuable to itself.

  4. FolijSid says:

    Here, somebody is writing something fantastic about photography. I love this website Amy!

  5. Isn’t the author speaking the real truth or what??

  6. Julie Conner says:

    Amy, where do we buy gear for our cameras to be able to shoot like this?

  7. Shaun Brann says:

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  10. Jamal Nayee says:

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  11. Saved being a favored, I truly like your website!

  12. Bette says:

    I love pictures of the night sky, thanks for the article.

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