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Everything You Need to Know About Night Sky Photography

Everything You Need to Know About Night Sky Photography

There’s just something fascinating about photographing the night sky. But photographing the night sky can be challenging. Here’s everything you need to know about night sky photography so you can take creative images of the stars, moon and and Milky Way.

Night Sky Photography
Darkest of Dark
The most important element of night sky photography is locating the darkest skies you can find. This may require traveling quite some distance away from the city lights. Light pollution is your worst enemy when photographing the night sky. It’s best to wait until at least 90 minutes after sunset to begin your night sky photography session.

Full Moon Rising
You need to check to see what phase the moon is in before you head out to take your night sky photography. A full, or even a half moon, will shine too brightly for you to capture any images of the surrounding stars. Is your goal to actually capture images of the moon? Try shooting at dusk. This will allow you to capture a nice glow of the moon with your Sony a6400 from Night Sky Photography
Once you have your location and timing set for your night sky photography, it’s time to get your gear set up. You’ll want to use a full-frame camera with manual-mode functionality. The larger sensor on full-frame cameras like the Nikon Z9 will capture more light to produce images with better quality. Add a wide angle lens with a wide aperture of f/2.8 or lower like the Sigma 14-24mm f/2.8 D DN Art Wide Angle Zoom Full Frame Lens from This will help create amazing images when photographing the Milky Way. Don’t forget to take along a sturdy tripod and a remote shutter release. These are crucial pieces of gear for shooting long exposures.

You can’t go into the night shooting like you do at your kid’s midday soccer match. You have to have your camera set for your night sky photography. The first thing you need to do is slow your shutter speed down to at least 10 seconds. This will allow more light into your camera to capture the dark night sky. You can also let in more light by opening your aperture, or f-stop. To have ultimate control during post-processing as well, shoot in RAW format.

Night Sky Photography
Now you’re ready to start shooting your night sky images. If you’re trying to capture images of the Milky Way, you’ll have the best luck one week before or after a new moon. You want to use a wide angle lens that has a large maximum aperture so you can capture as much of the Milky Way as possible. Want to create stunning images of star trails? You can accomplish this by taking a single long exposure photograph using a very low ISO. Photographing star trails can be done using any type of lens.

Night Sky Photography

It may take a lot of practice and experimenting, but you’ll be able to capture incredible night sky photographs if you use these tips.
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