Are you someone who is fascinated by the dark, dark sky in all its vastness? Studded with uncountable stars, just like the thoughts we plant in our minds, the night sky is an embodiment of wonder with mystery.
In a universe whose lengths we know not of, is this Earth we live on. All that we love, aspire, conquer and lose. Every kingdom that has flourished, every Saint who has walked this soil, every relentless dictator, every ruthless war waged. So massive and yet so minuscule at the same time in this enormous totality of space.
For the budding night owls out there, the prospect of capturing the starry, night sky in all it’s austerity is certainly an exciting one.
Here are some great astrophotography tips to help you capture that dream shot. A chance to freeze the wonder your eyes have fathomed all along. This is a guide to simplify astrophotography for beginners, so read on to know more.
Once you’re done with your learning, would it not be a colossal waste of your hard work and efforts if your stellar photography skills never see the limelight? Your passion can earn you dollars, so why not open your online photography gallery today?
It’s the best space on the Internet to sell photography online at the click of a button, right from home.
So go ahead, read this fast and try it out soon!
Basic Astrophotography Tips
First Things First
It is important to be aware about the basic requirements before you grab your camera and set off on your adventure. To reduce any possibility of shaky pictures while shooting and avoiding blurry shots, you will need a tripod to suit your camera.
Also, since night time shooting involves low light. Equip yourself with a camera that offers manual adjustment of the exposure. This will make sure that you do not end up with dark shots. A DSLR (Digital Single Lens Relfex) or an SLR (Single Lens Relfex) camera offer these features.
This is one of the most basic astrophotography tips that you should know before you proceed with the more technical aspects of this style of photography.
Focusing on the Focal Length
After you have chosen your DSLR/SLR camera, you must now choose a lens that offers a wide aperture. In photography, aperture refers to the amount of light that your camera's lens will be exposed to. As you would have come across in Ray Optics in Physics, focal length refers to the measure of how strongly the lens will converge or diverge the light.
Now in a field like Astrophotography, where the subject being shot is infinitely far away, it is important to fix a longer focal length for better magnification.
Aperture is usually denoted as f2.8, f3.5 and f16. For a technique like this, one of the most vital astrophotography tips is to opt for a larger aperture such as f1.4 to f/3.5. And like you already read above, use the lens in manual focus so as to control the aperture and set the lens to infinity focus.
Time to take out your Maps!
The next thing this guide will teach in astrophotography for beginners is about choosing the right location for your shoot. Naturally, the city sky is polluted with smoke, dust and fumes of automobiles and heavy industries. Such an ambience is not suitable for astrophotography at all, as the clear visibility of the night sky is lost.
So ensure that you choose a day with good weather, to get a clear night sky not laden with clouds. And remember to drive to the outskirts. This is a great tip to shoot in peace, and really connect with the quiet of the night, as you give in to the sounds of nature.
It’s time to shoot!
Once you have set the camera to the pre requisite technicalities, it's time for you to grab the tripod and begin your shooting journey. Remember to be patient throughout the shots, so make sure to not physically disturb the camera setting to avoid shaky pictures. Shoot a series of shots before you decide whether you have shot perfectly or if you want to switch to a different location to get better pictures. If you go through these Landscape Photography tricks, you will be able to get a better frame for your photography.
Processing the pictures
Once you’re back home from your adventure, it is time to tweak and play with Photoshop. As a beginner, it is natural to end up with pitch black shots of the sky, but don’t be disheartened already. The process isn’t over yet.
Photoshop and other applications offer a myriad of processing features for your pictures. More than the basic brightness and contrast, explore the options of adjusting the curves of your photograph. Specifically, the shades of blue, green and red.
This way, you can correct minor glitches and add more life to your photograph. No wonder it resembles the National Geography standard of night sky photography!
So which of these did you enjoy the most? Was it your long journey to a place far away? A place to imbibe the beauty of nature, away from the dark smoke billowing from vehicles in the busy city.
Or, was it in learning about these basic astrophotography tips and the ensuing realization that it doesn’t take rocket science to capture the beauty that has allured you for so long?
Whichever it is, one thing is certain. Photography is not just an art, it is a way of life. Beyond the physics, the techniques, and the long travels to peculiar locations, it lies in the fulfilment you get. When you can smile and tell yourself a reassuring 'yes', thats when you know you've clicked with your dear camera and soon enough, your fans.
Time for your quest, so wish you a happy shooting!