A quote from Ansel Adams

“When words become unclear, I shall focus with photographs. When images become inadequate, I shall be content with silence.”
Ansel Adams

Saturday, 5 July 2014

Astrophotography in Winter

My technic to photographing the Milky Way!

To truly get great results you have to be though and willing to travel. This is because to photograph the night at its most spectacular, it is going to get very cold. 
One of the reasons the night sky is better seen in winter is there is much less water vapour in the air. 
In order to see the Milky Way you need to leave the cities because light pollution is a big factor, although it can be used to your advantage in some cases to get interesting pictures. Most of the time it is just a nuisance.

This photograph above was taken in the Southern Drakensberg South Africa. This photo has virtually no editing done to it and that is because I wanted to show you what you can achieve with virtually no editing, if you are in the right conditions and have everything ready to go when there is a clear night.

The equipment; 
A sturdy tripod to ensure no movement,
A DSLR camera or a camera with the capability to create long exposures.
Wide angle lens preferably one with a high F-stop (F2.8 is good). 
A remote shutter release cable (This one is optional but will help tremendously)
Hand warmers both for yourself and for preventing the lens from fogging up and ruining your photos, but this only tends to happen when shooting star trails.

The settings (do this part inside your house. trust me you will thank me later); 
Set your White Balance to tungsten (this is so that the Milky Way doesn't end up looking brown).
Put your camera into M (manual) mode and set the exposure to run for 20-30 seconds, you will need to play around a bit to achieve an image you are happy with.
Set your ISO to around 3200, this should capture to Milky Way very nicely. 

Once this is all done you can set your tripod up and point it at the Milky Way!

Some tips;
Try and get a subject in you picture it helps create a depth of field and creates more subject matter for the viewer to look at. 
Do two exposures of the same pic one with the subject matter in the foreground light up and the next trying to capture the Milky Way (remember not to move the tripod in between the two different exposures).

If you want to see some other pictures of mine here is the link to My Instagram

1 comment:

  1. I will be doing a star trails blog soon so keep checking in for some more tips on astrophotography!