Night Photography

Using todays modern cameras images of stars in the night can be easily obtained. As long as you live or can get to a place where night time is actually dark.  My backyard just is not the place. Kind of like living in a large camera with a light leak. Still with a bit of effort you can get some interesting images.   Full Of Stars This was from my backyard shooting almost straight up.  The image was taken on a 16mm fish-eye at F2.8  for 15 seconds with an ISO of 800. If I didn’t have so much ambient light I could have either extended the open shutter time or upped the ISO to pull in the fainter stars.

Using a wide angle lens gives you a view of a larger portion of the sky it also allows for longer exposures without the starts moving in the image. A lens between 16mm and 28mm is your best bet. Use the most wide open aperture that your lens allows.  F/1.4 to F2.8 if you have a lens that opens up that wide.  You must have a really sturdy tripod. You should also use a remote shutter release or use the self timer to let the camera stabilized before the shutter opens. The last issue is to get the stars in focus which you probably will do manually unless you have a real good live view on your camera. I try to set my focus just below infinity (even stars are not an infinite distance from the lens).

Beware, night photography can become addicted and you end up doing things like getting up at 2:45am to try and see nonexistent meteor showers.   jr