Night Sky Photos 101

Up until recently, this blog was strictly film photography. Now that I’ve decided to post film, digital, and writing works I will be posting a lot more; more material = more posts, woohoo. Just like with the light painting post, you can also utilize these tips in film photography as well. I just describe it in digital speak on here because it allows me to get the post up quicker than I would if it was in film.

Alright, so how do you photograph stars?

If you're not shooting at the correct settings, you're probably getting ugly photos that look like this.

If you’re not shooting at the correct settings, you’re probably getting ugly photos that look like this.

  • Yeah, we don’t want photos that look like that. Let’s figure out what you’ll need before we begin. I used a Canon 5D Mark III with a 16-35mm f/2.8 lens. Now, you can really use any camera to do this but having one that is capable of reaching at LEAST 3200ISO and shooting in BULB mode is a must.
  • A tripod is crucial. Your shutter is going to be open for awhile depending upon if you’re photographing the Milky Way or star trails – regular stars can go up to several minutes of exposure and star trails can go up towards and hour and a half. You need something to stabilize your camera while doing this, otherwise it’ll be blur city.
  • A remote! Unless you want to stand there pressing down the shutter button then a remote makes it easier and more comfortable for yourself. In BULB mode, at least on my camera, you have to hold down the shutter for it to stay open which is where the remote comes in handy.
  • A dark landscape, far away from light pollution.

Now you are ready to begin!

F/2.8, ISO 6400, minute and a half long exposure.

F/2.8, ISO 6400, minute and a half long exposure.

f/2.8, 3200ISO, minute long exposure.

f/2.8, 3200ISO, minute long exposure.

The red light at the bottom is from this really annoying traffic light I couldn't get away from.

The red light at the bottom is from this really annoying traffic light I couldn’t get away from.

Loch Raven

Loch Raven

 Yeah so, I know these aren’t mind blowing or anything….for the crazy, milky way type of shots you need to be far, far away from any type of light pollution whatsoever. I’ll definitely update this post with nicer photos during winter break, I just wanted to give you guys an idea of how to do this if you had some free time to try it yourself!

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