How to Capture Stars

starsquoteglow
ISO 100 | 50 mm | f/1.4 | 20 sec
hillstars
ISO 100 | 20 mm | f/3.2 | 25 sec

Equipment You’ll Need: DSLR Camera, Wide Angle Lens with a Wide Aperture (preferably  1.4 or 1.8), and a basic, yet sturdy tripod

1. Shoot when the sky is clear from clouds or partly cloudy

With less cloud coverage, you will be able to capture more stars. If you decide to shoot on a night that is partly cloudy, choose an area in the sky that has no clouds. This will make for a stronger, surreal image.

2. Pitch Black Location

Choose a location that is away from the city lights…and the Moon. Yes, the Moon’s powerful light source will overpower the image.

3. RAW File Format

Before you go into your shooting frenzy, make sure you have your camera set to produce images in RAW format instead of JPEG.

RAW is a file format that records all of the details of your capture. Shooting in RAW will give you a lot more control when editing your photos in Lightroom or Photoshop. Whereas JPEG is a compressed file version, not leaving much room for in depth photo editing.

4.Use a Low ISO

There are 3 settings on your camera that allow you to control the exposure of your image.

ISO, Aperture, and Shutter Speed

The first setting I always adjust is the ISO. Since we will be using a wide Aperture of at least 1.4 and a long exposure, we will use a smaller ISO of 100. Using a smaller ISO also eliminates grain/noise we might experience with a higher ISO. However, if you need a tad bit more light, turn the ISO up. Remember, the lower the less grain.

5. Long Exposure

Place your camera on a tripod, and set your shutter speed at 15-25 seconds. The long exposure allows for you to capture many stars. It’s amazing how there’s so many stars that aren’t visible to the naked eye. You are capable of capturing more than you see with your camera’s incredible eye.

6. Wide Aperture

Use the widest aperture your lens has to achieve a well-lit scene. Since you will be shooting a dark location, you will need an aperture that will allow more light into the sensor.

 

Planning to give it a try? Found this post helpful? Leave a comment below

 

 


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