I often see images of stars in the sky from professional photographers including https://www.artlook.us/service/gay-wedding-photographers-nyc/. They are taken in different ways and from different angles, in different places, but they are certainly beautiful: a landscape against the backdrop of many stellar objects, the Milky Way or a real starfall created by the movement of luminous celestial bodies. Would you like to have such shots in your portfolio? My article is at your service.
The main question: how to photograph the starry sky? How to convey exactly the splendor that we see or how we wanted it to look? In Photoshop, we can work wonders, but it will not be so valuable, because there will be no documentary and real reality in the photo.
Therefore, I advise you to be fully armed at the time of the photo shoot and try to get an almost perfect shot. To do this, you need to consider the following factors:
Composition. Contrary to the possible idea that shooting a sky with stars is only stellar bodies and the sky, it is worth concentrating on the surroundings as well. As in any kind of photography, you need to think about what objects will be included in the picture. For example, trees of an unusual shape, mountains, valleys, interesting natural objects, beautiful architectural structures – take your pick.
Time. It is clear that you will have to take pictures at night, but when – when the stars are clearly visible and represented in the maximum number. The night should be without clouds. It is advisable to follow the phase of the moon: how bright it is and where exactly in the sky it will be at a particular moment. The time of year doesn’t really matter.
Locality. Firstly, you should choose a location that is more or less picturesque, since you will probably want to take pictures of the landscape, at least partially. Secondly, going out into nature is useful not only in search of beauty, but also in order to avoid getting into the frame of light from the lights of the city. Artificial lighting illuminates the sky, it, in principle, will be superfluous in the picture.
Technique. And here are two points: the camera itself + optics. Of course, it’s good to have a high-quality camera that allows you to shoot in high resolution, take clear pictures, and it would not hurt if there was a separate noise reduction function. But do not be upset if you do not have a very advanced and modern camera. Even on Nikon d3100 you can take a good photo.
Pay more attention to the chosen lens. If you plan to increase the illumination of the photo due to the open aperture and play with the f value, then without fast optics you can’t go anywhere. Also, the device must be wide-angle, for example, 16, 24 mm, etc. With such data, you can cover a very large part of the sky and the rest of the landscape.
Additional accessories. Any of your illuminators will come in handy, even an elementary flashlight or flash, which in capable hands is capable of much. Light is most likely needed to illuminate nearby objects, which could be more easily focused. At this point, you can also remember about color filters to make the original backlight.
But more important when shooting the sky at night is something else – a good tripod. It should be high enough and stable. It is he who will fix the camera when you set a slow shutter speed. Why did I mention endurance? Find out below, where we will talk about the settings.
How the professionals do it
This, of course, will focus on the camera settings.
Manual control. The camera can be almost anything, any brand (for example, Canon or Nikon). But what he definitely should have is a manual mode, with which you can maximally adapt to rather difficult external conditions.
Low ISO. Perhaps, beginners may be surprised: we are shooting in almost absolute darkness, without high sensitivity we will get only a black picture at all! This is not so: the photosensitivity should be no more than 200, so as not to create noise. When shooting the sky and stars, the emphasis should be on shutter speed. And read more about it.
Diaphragm. You should not open it too much, because we need the greatest depth of space, since we want to capture the entire landscape. A large aperture, by the way, in such circumstances, in any case, will not give a noticeable increase in illumination.
Endurance is of paramount importance. It is on her that all lighting depends, and how the stars will turn out, that is, either clear (short shutter speed) or blurry, in motion (long). It is better to choose a specific value yourself, already at the place of filming. Remember that the earth rotates, therefore, with the set average time intervals, the stars can also be fuzzy. Keep in mind that in many low and mid-range cameras, 30 seconds is the longest. This is enough to show stellar movement, but in a small range. Thus, a slow shutter speed will both lighten the photo and turn dot stars into dash stars.
Focus. The most difficult thing with him: what to focus on in the dark? Turn off auto mode immediately, it just won’t help you at all. With sleight of hand and a natural eye, we will have to adjust the focus. You won’t see much in the viewfinder, so it’s worth finding at least some lights and focusing on them. There is an option to highlight the foreground of the scene, for example, with a lantern, and focus on it.
When photographing with an amateur type camera or a professional expensive camera, in any case, the image of the starry sky will have to be retouched to a certain extent. So don’t worry if something goes wrong, but don’t get carried away with post-processing either! Count on yourself and actively use the acquired knowledge.
If you want to get to know your SLR camera better than what it is capable of, then a video course will become your assistant. Why these courses? Everything is simple. They are designed for beginner photographers. Everything is told and shown in them in a very simple language, which will become clear from the first viewing. Many beginners, after viewing the course, talk with their SLR on you!