Quick and Easy Tutorial for Shooting a Star-filled Night Sky

 

For those of you who'd like to try night sky photography - hey there the Big Dipper or Milky Way - here's a short tutorial you could find handy, especially if you're a novice photographer. We including a list of essential equipment as well to further assist you.

shooting night sky photography

Equipment:

  • Here's what you will need to get started.

  • A sturdy and reliable tripod will allow you to keep your camera steady to eliminate blur.

  • DSLR or mirrorless camera with a wide-angle lens

  • Ideally, you use a Full Frame camera and know the focal length.

  • For example for a 15mm lens: 500/15= 30 seconds, but more on this later.

tips for night sky photography

Shooting:

  • If you want to shoot a star-filled night sky, use an app to find the best dark skies near you. An excellent app to use is the Dark Site Finder which is detailed and even offers the best times to shoot, but there are others available as well.

  • The best time to shoot the night sky in the Northern Hemisphere is in the summer. That's typically from April through November.

  • If you're shooting early in the summer, face south to southeast. Late summer, face south to the southwest for the best skies possible.

  • You'll need clear and completely dark skies - preferably on a moonless night.

  • You'll need to be away from and shooting away from light pollution.

  • To get the best focus, focus on the brightest star possible using your screen to view. Get in as clear and tight as possible.

  • Shoot at your wides angle possible and use the widest aperture possible with your camera.

  • To determine your shutter speed, take your focal length and divide by 500. A 15 mm, would mean about 30 seconds for shutter speed. This would give you the sharpest picture possible.

  • We suggest starting with an ISO of 2000, taking a picture, then adjusting up or down as you need.

  • And, there you have it. A pretty short and sweet tutorial on shooting a star-filled Milky Way!