Astrophotography is the art of taking pictures of stars, moons, planets and other celestial objects. It can be a lot more difficult than regular photography since cameras aren’t generally equipped for dark skies and faraway subjects, but if you’re willing to put in the effort, it doesn’t have to be an impossible task. Here are just a few tips for snapping beautiful, star-studded images.
1. Get the Right Gear
A digital single-lens reflex (DSRL) camera is a must. You aren’t going to capture a meteor shower with a smartphone lens! A professional camera, on the other hand, will come with all kinds of settings that can help you take sharp, clear photos. You might also want a tripod to help you reduce vibrations in your shots.
2. Change Your Camera Settings
You’ll need to get comfortable fiddling with things like aperture and shutter speed when taking nighttime photos. This might require a little research on your part; if you don’t know what an F-stop is, you won’t understand the difference between f/2 and f/12, and that can have a big impact on the clarity of your photos.
3. Pay Attention to the Time
The rotation of the planet means that you can shoot in the same spot all night but get completely different photos depending on the time. The moon won’t stay still. Make sure that you bring your watch to your astrophotography session, especially if you’re trying to capture something time-sensitive like an eclipse.
4. Understand the Science
You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to enjoy astrophotography as a hobby. However, if you’re willing to learn about things like the Doppler effect theory, you can gain a greater understanding of how light and distance are affecting your photos. Don’t be afraid to read up on scientific subjects that can make you a better photographer.
These are just a few tips for taking great pictures of the night sky. It might not be easy, but when you realize that your effort will result in glorious pictures of far-away galaxies, it’ll be worth it in the end.