How to photograph the night sky

Taking images of the heavens and some foreground can lend a whole new perspective to your travel photography

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Here’s how to have a go at simple astro-photography:

  • Find a dark place, preferably away from Full Moon week

  • Mount a DSLR (or a compact with full manual controls) on a tripod, preferably using a wide-angle (10-22mm) lens

  • Set to ISO 400 (also try ISO 800)

  • Set White Balance to Tungsten

  • Set lens to manual focus, then set focus to infinity (and use some masking tape to fix it in position if it’s loose)

  • Set aperture to f5 to begin with (and experiment up to f11)

  • Use a remote shutter release OR set the shutter delay (timer switch) to  2 seconds

  • Expose for 20 seconds, and experiment with shorter (but not longer) exposures.

  • While editing, before discarding try increasing the exposure and contrast – you might find that your camera has captured mann, many more stars (perhaps even the Milky Way if you were somewhere really dark) that you could see while behind the camera.

There are some more great tips here.