Photograph the stars and the milky way it may be easier than you think. I will explain how to do it taking into consideration three very important things: the necessary equipment, the camera configuration and the ideal place or conditions to take the photo. I will also give you several simple tips so that the image is perfect, here we go!
Table of Contents
– I recommend a angle lens or objective The idea is to grab as much sky as possible, as much space as you can cover. I generally use a 20mm , also works a 16mm . Remember: as angular as possible .
– The tripod It is essential for you to have stability, you cannot take the photo by hand. You even have to take care that the wind does not move the camera, because then the image will be blurred.
As for the camera settings, I will give you some basic tips, but that depends on each person. Next We will see suggestions for ISO, shutter speed, lens aperture and format .
– I recommend putting the ISO at 1250
– The minimum shutter speed allowed by your lens , My advice is 30 or 25 seconds (30 ”or 25”) . If you leave it too long, what could happen is that the stars come out with trails. In this case we are looking for sharpness, the fixed point, that’s why I recommend these speeds.
– Regarding the lens aperture, make it as large as possible . For example in F. 1.8 it’s quite open and that’s fine, because we want as much light to enter.
– I also advise you work the photos in RAW, not in JPG , to be able to make them a good post-production and edit them in LightRoom.
– An infallible trick! Use the timer for perfect stability when shooting the photo, leave a 2 seconds from the moment you touch the shutter button, I recommend this because always, even if it is almost imperceptible, when you touch it, the camera will move slightly.
– It’s very important use manual focus . In the 20mm lens, as you can see in the image, it reaches “infinity”. Take it all the way to the right, to “infinity,” and you just bring it back just a little bit more.
We already have a notion about the equipment and the technical configuration, the next (and last) step is to see how the environment should be so that the photograph turns out well.
– Do it one day that the sky is clear Well, if there are clouds, they will cover the stars and blots or spots will appear in their place, we don’t want that to happen.
– It is important that there be total darkness , then find an area where there are no house lights or street lights. Ideally, it should be in a not very urban place, taking this type of photos in the city is super difficult for just that reason. For example, the beach or the mountains are perfect, but if you are not there, go where it is darkest.
– Anticipa cómo va a estar la luna antes de ir a tomar la foto, te recomiendo la app llamada “Moon” o cualquier otra que indique exactamente cómo estará. La clave es: mientras menos luna tengamos, mejor. ¿Por qué? La luz de la luna podría arruinar la foto, entonces con luna llena no va a funcionar.
– Another tip! Use an app like SkyView to see the stars in augmented reality . So you can see where the milky way is, the stars or whatever you want to capture, even a specific planet. When you have it located, you prepare your camera by focusing on the target, and voila! You tell me how the photo turned out.
Meanwhile, I show you an example where I followed these simple steps and edited the images in LightRoom to my liking.
Remember, to take pictures at night and capture the stars or the milky way it is important (1)Have the correct equipment: camera, tripod and an angle lens ; (2) configure the camera with ISO 1250, the minimum shutter speed (Ex: 25 ”) and the maximum lens aperture (Ex: F. 1.8) ; and (3) do it with the clear sky, as dark as possible, and as little moon as possible (full it is very beautiful to contemplate but in these photos it does not work).
Also remember that to increase your chances of being happy with the image, you can support you with apps as “Moon” for anticipate how the moon will be ; or “SkyView” for aiming the target with augmented reality .
I hope these tips have helped you and that you have a lot of fun taking the photo. Enjoying the process is the best way to learn, until next time!