One of the finest parts of the photography is taking the shots of Galaxy, twinkling stars of dark night and the beautiful Milky way. We are here trying to give you some mighty effective steps for Astrophotography (basically the milky way), such as “what are the equipment and accessories you should have with you inside your backpack? what is the right location you should be in to get the most wonderful picture of that elegant milky way.
If you are stepping your feet towards Astrophotography means you are a beginner and want to turn your passion to professional level astro photographer then the points below are for you.
So before we begin we must tell you what are the accessories you should keep with you to capture those shots of stars beautifully. In general, if you practically think then you need a DSLR that is heavily outstanding in lowlight photography, because astrophotography is the photography of night when your eyes can see those twinkling stars, moon and all the beauties come under Astrophotography.
A good camera and Lens
First of all you have to know which camera is best to take shots of milky way and then the best lens. Select the lens and DSLR/ Mirrorless camera carefully. Best to get a camera with high ISO capabilities. Basically, if you ask a professional photographer to recommend a camera for astrophotography then he might suggest you Full-Frame camera.
You should have a Full-frame DSLR camera that is highly capable to shoot images with great clarity and detail (Check out our list of best astrophotography camera) and implements Hydrogen–alpha sensitivity, and excellent dynamic range.
Understand the phase of the moon
One of the basic rules to shoot the stars is to know the weather and the phase of the moon. The bright light of the moon helps camera’s AF system to lock on. But if the moon light is brighter than your shots won’t look good. However, there are a few valuable apps available out on the market that effectively helps you to identify the Moon’s phase.
Find a good location
The dark night sky is the perfect location to shoot Milky way. Now your next target is to make a considerable distance from the city lights that affects your images. So find a complete dark area to shoot your desired Milky way.
Use a sharp wide angle lens
While shooting Milky way, you must have a lens with large aperture because it collects maximum light which is heavily required for Milky way shots. On the other hand, the focal length of the lens should also be increased because Wide-angle lens captures large area of the galaxy, but still it is tiny infront of the humongous Galaxy. So wide angle lens captures maximum area of that Galaxy. Fish eye lens is also massive choice for.
Use a Tripod
We know a few photographers who believe “they can get super quality of images using ordinary or inexpensive tripod” , but the truth is that those tripods implement very weak rig that often get shaken due to slight blowing air. So, tripod with a 3 way pan/tilt head is a massive solution to those shakes that also lets you shoot all sorts of compositions. Furthermore, ball heads on a tripod can also be great that gives you the versatility of shooting the sky as well as the horizon in the night time.
To tell you the right shutter speed there are a few good apps available out on the web, but the award wining rule is the ” 500 rule”. This rule says you just need to divide 500 by focal length of the lens you use. Suppose you have 24mm lens then it would be (500/24= 20.83). Means 20 secs is the shutter speed. The rule is used in different way while using crop sensor camera. You should know that 1.5 for Nikon and Sony and 1.7 for Canon). In other words, if you use the same 24mm lens on this crop sensor camera, such as in Nikon then shutter speed would be (500/24 x 1.5=13.89).
You can also click to the “How to take sharp images?”