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Night photography


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62 replies to this topic

#1
rob6378

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I have seen many great night photos but unable to replicate this can some one tell me what I would need to take great pictures of a night sky and what would be the best settings



#2
Stas

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Hi. I took the pictures of night sky at next settings:
ISO 1600
F 1.8
Time of exposition 15-20 sec

As you can see you will need to use a tripod. Also I want to say about your lens. If you want that the stars looks like small points it would be
Better to use wide angel lens if you want that stars looks like little lines you can try a telephoto lens.

#3
Adam

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I have seen many great night photos but unable to replicate this can some one tell me what I would need to take great pictures of a night sky and what would be the best settings

You definitely need a tripod, and you definitely need a long exposure time.  Anywhere from 5 seconds to 30 seconds is the norm.  I usually shoot close to wide-open as it allows you to use a shorter exposure time.

 

To make your compositions more interesting, consider "painting" some of the foreground with a flashlight so that you get something interesting in your image:  the sky alone isn't enough.

 

If you want to do star trails or something like that, make sure the moon isn't in the way. 

 

Here are a few examples of night phots that I recently took:

 

Here, the trees were lit up with a flashlight.

721s F2.5 ISO 100

Star Trails
 
Shot of the moon, 5s F1.6 ISO 640
Moonrise
 
Stars, 8.4s F2.5 ISO 800
Milky Way
 
I did a lot of experimentation in between.  It turnes out that the aperture is the least significant parameter.  Shutter speed will cause motion blur (if there is wind or if you're shooting stars) and higher ISOs will cost you detail if you push it too high.
 
D800 + 35mm F1.4G


#4
Stas

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also if you want to get a picture with start trails you can use the programms that combine few photos with static stars into one photo with start trails. I can't remember the name of this prog so google it if you need.

#5
rob6378

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Thank you so much for your help I shall get out and try tonight and lit you know how I get on Thank You Guys 



#6
Stas

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So what? Do you have some results to show us?)



#7
nbanjogal

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I learned most of what I know from Royce Bair, a master of night sky photography. He is very generous with his knowledge and shares good instruction on his blog:

 

intothenightphoto.blogspot.com

 

I took this photo with my D600 and 14-24mm lens--ISO 6400 (!!!), f2.8, 15 secs, 14mm:

 

NCF_TetonLake5596_small.jpg

 

Hope the resolution isn't too bad--I resized it pretty small...

 



#8
Stas

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Wow! Your picture is great! Anton Jankovoy also have a great articles about how to shoot night sky. As I remember it was translated in english, but I haven't s link. So if you are interested in you can try to find it by his name.

#9
PrettyCranium

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Wow, amazing picture! Thanks for the blog link.



#10
Bribrian

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That's one heck of a shot nbanjogal.......



#11
Stas

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Here is my result of star tracks, not so good like  nbanjogal has but I want to share.

Attached Thumbnails

  • Startrails5.jpg


#12
nbanjogal

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Nice job, Stas! I love the lone tree against the sky--that's a beautiful composition. I haven't experimented much with star trails--I need to get out and do it. What settings did you use for that photo?

#13
Stas

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Hm. Don't remember exactly something like

15 sec

F1.8

ISO 1600

Lens Nikkor 35mm

I will check this information at home. Also I have to notice that it is not one photo. Here is 9 photos combined with special software.



#14
PrettyCranium

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Nice picture, and interesting that you could get star trails after 15 seconds! 



#15
morticiaskeeper

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Star trails are easier to get than not :-(

The 500 rule shows the maximum exposure before star trail begins.

Focal length. APS-C 1.5x exposure in seconds

12. 28
14. 24
16. 21
18. 19
20. 17
24. 14
28. 12
35. 10

If you want to take longer exposures, you will need a well setup eq mount and RA motor.

Much easier to take a number of exposures and then stack them.

#16
PrettyCranium

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Thanks. I will look on line for some tutorials.

#17
Stas

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Yes, the length of trail depends on focal length of your lens. You will get a trail on tele lens at shorter exposure time, that on wide angle lens. But as I wrote to create this photo I used a special software, that can combine few photos with short trails into one with long trails. Photo that I published here was created from 7 or 9 photos with short trails.



#18
nbanjogal

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If the weather cooperates, this weekend should be a good one for night sky photography--at least in my hemisphere. :)  No moon! I'm heading out with a 14-24mm to find dark skies in Idaho. Wish me luck! (Lots of luck--things are looking a bit cloudy.)

 

By the way, in our discussions of night sky photography, I don't think anyone has mentioned the following tools:

 

Stellarium

The Photographer's Ephemeris

Starwalk

Dark Sky Finder

 

They are all apps or websites that I find indispensable in plotting sun and moon rises and sets, Milky Way positions, and skies dark enough to photograph the Milky Way.



#19
Stas

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Good luck! And here some night photo. I like photos of this guy. I hope they will inspire you) http://jankovoy.com/



#20
rocknrumble

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I want to get out of the city and do some star trails... will have to try and organise a trip.

 

This shot was taken with my D600, hand held at Bondi Beach.

 

 

 

 

Attached Thumbnails

  • DSC_3448.JPG