Starry sky photography has always been the most moving subject in landscape photography. With the gradual advancement of shooting equipment, star photography seems to be getting easier and easier. However, do you really know how to photograph the stars? This article will tell you the 7 key points you need to know about star photography.
1. Take a break from the hustle and bustle of the city
The bustling city is where we live, but the bright starry sky and the flashing neon are a pair of enemies, because they never appear at the same time. So, in order to appreciate and take photos of the starry sky, you must ensure that you keep a certain distance from light pollution. This distance is actually not certain. It depends on the scale and terrain of the city. Either climb to a high terrain that is not affected by light pollution or stay away from cities with severe light pollution. It should be noted that the degree of light pollution is not necessarily directly perceived by the naked eye, so you can use the browser to search the light pollution map to find places that are dark enough around you.
2. Be good at using apps
Some people will be like: "I don't know anything about astronomy, how can I know the position of the Milky Way? Which stars correspond to which constellations?" The answer is: You don't need to know. Because there are so many apps now, such as Star Walk, PianIt, Sky Guide, Stellarium, etc. As long as you enter the time and position, it will show you the corresponding starry sky state, tell you the position of the Milky Way and the constellations, and even combine your camera to help you simulate a scene that has not yet appeared. The more you shoot, the simpler astronomical knowledge you will naturally acquire.
3. Choose the right equipment
Starry sky photography is really not difficult. Of course, higher-grade equipment will give you better details and picture quality. The ultra-wide angle can include more landscapes and starry sky, and can facilitate the composition and make the photos more impactful. Slightly longer lenses have more requirements on aperture and composition, but as long as the idea and scene are in place, they can be used for shooting. Of course, a stable tripod and a convenient shutter release are also indispensable.
4. Set the correct parameters
Although the starry sky environment is relatively dark, the brightness is uniform, so the parameters are very easy to set. Generally, the most basic setting is to use the maximum aperture f/2.8 of a common wide-angle lens with a sensitivity of around 4000. Then, according to the "500 rule" [shutter speed (s) = 500 divided by the lens equivalent focal length (mm)], the exposure time can be calculated. Setting the camera according to the above content can generally get a photo with suitable brightness.
5. The landscape determines the level
We are surrounded by similar starry sky photos, in fact, no matter how you shoot the stars, the starry sky effect will always be the same. A simple starry sky can easily make people feel fatigued, so if you want to shoot a good-looking starry sky, you must match the appropriate landscape. In fact, there are no restrictions on the landscape, old buildings, snow-capped mountains, deserts, seas... As long as you can reach any place, any beautiful scenery in the world can be used as a landscape.
6. Consider the shooting time
If you're going to shoot the galactic core, focus on the time period when the galactic core will appear in the night sky. Generally speaking, on spring, summer, and autumn nights, the galactic core will appear in the sky, and the exact timing will vary depending on where you are on Earth. The best months to photograph the Milky Way also depend on the landscape you want to photograph, which is not entirely true. In winter, generally only a dim part of the Milky Way can be seen. However, even if there is no galaxy core starry sky, it will still be very beautiful, as long as you pay attention to the matching of the scenery, you can make a blockbuster.
7. Pay attention to special astronomical phenomena
Meteor showers, comets, lunar eclipses, and aurora can all be used as subjects or picture elements to add color to our works. Moreover, many celestial phenomena can be predicted in advance, and we can make corresponding shooting plans in advance according to the forecast of the official weather station.