Shooting the Night Sky
We all catch ourselves staring up into the night sky, and many photographers work to capture the beauty of the heavens with their cameras.
Beginners Photography - Setting
Some people focus strictly on photographing the moon, or the remarkable beauty of sunrise and sunset.
people like to capture dramatic moments of extreme weather or “sweet
light” where the sky and objects on the ground attain a radiance or
glow they don’t usually see.
With a little practice, and a little help from the experts, you too can begin to "see" this too.
Beginners Photography - Setting Your Camera:
Many other people want to capture just the stars, and there are many simple methods used to do so successfully.
The basic settings for a camera to capture evening sky effects are ISO 50; f/stop is 2.8 to 3.5.
you choose to set the camera at ISO 100 the exposure times can be
shorter. The f/stop settings are to allow the most starlight in as
possible in order to record the many stars, and the smaller the f/stop
is set the fewer the stars recorded.
All this sounds very technical, but it's simple really, and easy to understand when it's explained in simple English.
Beginners Photography - Adding Impact:
An after dark photographer should also realize that the best night sky photographs have an element of the horizon or a fixed point in the sky to create a sense of space and motion.
example when setting up a
camera it should be level with the horizon, or focus the camera on the
North Star to record the stars “circling” around it.
will be a wide range of factors that can impact evening
photographic efforts and the biggest one of them all (literally!) is
There's more detail in the eBook, but here's a few tips to get you started:
Beginners Photography - Stars and Night Skies:
If a photographer is looking to catch the variations of the pinpoint lights of stars then they will require much faster shutter speeds and much faster film speeds.
If the landscape is part of the composition the photographer will have to either wait for the full moon, or flash the foreground to capture it.
order to avoid the star trail effect a
photographer will need to use the following chart of times for evenings
illuminated by the light of a full moon. With the camera set at f/2.8
and an ISO film of 400:
on these exposures will allow features from the night sky such
as stars, the Milky Way, or unusual cloud formations to be captured
Finally, if this has whetted your appetite, here's where you can get hold of plenty more tips for your night sky photography.
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