Shooting Stars

Just a few notes from last night.

To capture the night sky, the aim is to get as much light as possible onto the cameras sensor.

This means using a high ISO, a wide aperture and a long exposure.

The length of the exposure will depend on the focal length of the lens, the wider the lens, the longer the shutter can be open before the stars begin to trail.

Some of my exposures where up to 30 seconds, but I would start with between 10 and 15 seconds.

The aperture will be determined by the lens, and if shot wide open will not necessarily be the sharpest image, so may need to be closed a stop.

For wide angle shots, a good starting point is shooting at 1600 ISO and 3200 ISO wide open, for about 15 seconds.

Check what you have and then go from there. You are after a histogram that has a block near the middle of the window.

If you wish to try star trails, try 200 ISO or lower, stop your lens down a stop, and use 5 minutes.

This will give you and idea of how the stars will show in the final image. If the image is too bright drop the ISO down rather than stopping the lens down, if too dark increase the ISO.

Then expose for longer, to get a longer Startrail.

If you are exposing manually (Bulb) don’t worry about being entirely accurate with the time of the exposure, several seconds either way is not going to make any difference to the final image with an long exposure of minutes.

If aiming for a star trail, aim North, so the the stars create circles.


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