When the sun goes down, the beautiful night sky lights up with millions and zillions of stars spread all across the night sky shining and twinkling. You just feel like capturing the tiny things, don’t you? Well if not in reality, you can capture them in a frame for life by using a camera. Now, most of us are not professionals, so how do we take perfect pictures of the gorgeous night sky? Amazingly wide-angle and good quality pictures of the night sky can be taken by almost anyone who has a camera with single lens reflex 35 mm usual film or a digital cameras that are easily available. This method of capturing the star-filled night sky is called Astrophotography. Let’s take a look at some of the tips to photograph the night sky like a professional.
Steps for Astrophotography:
Use a strong tripod:
Set the digital camera between ISO 200 and 800 or the conventional camera with high-speed film which is at least ISO 200. Ensure you have a sturdy tripod to mount your camera since you’ll need exposures up to tens of seconds and your camera has to be stable for that.
Switch to manual mode:
Change to manual mode turning off the autofocus mechanism.Adjust the focus ring of the lensyourself to just before infinity.If you want to add some foreground in your picture then take two shots with one of them focus on foreground and the other with focus on the stars. The two images can be combinedlater on by any photo editing software.
Fixthe speed of the shutter to between ranges 2 to 30 seconds or adjust it to bulb setting.
Position the camera towards the view of sky of which you want to click the picture. Trip the shutter with the help of a cable release preferably or a self -timer so as not to cause vibrations and keep the shutter of the camera up for the desirable length of time.
Adjust the aperture to widest and least f-stop for the lens.
To get the optimum results, slow down the lens from its maximum aperture which is usually f/1.4, 1.8 or 2.0 for film cameras to at least halfand then one full stop. This assists in reduction of the irregular lighting across the image and reduction in the abnormalitiesin the image of the star which might appear disfigured or bloated due to irregularities.
You can create marvelous stars studded night pictures by keeping the shutter open for different amount of time like from minutes to hours.Include some foreground as well to take the best shot; don’t just stick to clicking the sky.You can even use flashlights or car lights on the foreground object for the picture.
To capture a meteor shower, keep your shutter open for at least half an hour with focus at infinity.
Your image becomes grainier with the fast film although it results in capturing brighter stars. Keep the minimum film speed at 400. Set the mode to night scene, slow shutter speed and wide aperture along with slow synchronized flash, this would definitely give a perfect picture just like a pro.
Written by Rashi: Rashi is a blogger and photography enthusiast. She at present blogs for wowApic.com that offers services to restore & enhance your photographs, edit wedding & real estate pictures, turn photo to popart, personalize your photo gifts and more.