What you should know for astrophotography

What you should know for astrophotography

Although you can use some tools to simplify the process, we offer some tips for astrophotography only with a camera and a tripod.

About two weeks ago the launch of the Nikon D810A, a camera that is especially intended for those lovers of astrophotography. However, although our device is not designed to take such images, that does not mean we can not do it.

There are tools like telescopes or Tracking Devices , which make it much easier the process of taking pictures of stars, but the fact is that this technology is often somewhat expensive, so escaping the reach of any person who is not a fan of astrophotography.

Although the results may not be comparable, also can take good pictures if you only use our camera and a tripod . Only these two elements are needed, and some skill, to try to capture some constellation located in the night sky.

But first we must be aware of some issues, which are especially related to how it will be captured light with our camera. The stars are bright spots, which contrasts sharply with the sky at night, so we have to set a balance between light and shadow to finish getting a suitable image.

Let’s review the points we should consider for astrophotography and get a snapshot that can meet our initial expectations.



Credit: Adam Pass

As we mentioned above, for a quality astrophotography telescopes are often used, but we’re sticking to basics:

  • Camera : This point is clear, but not worth us with any camera. Our device should give us the possibility of using the bulb mode (the curtain opens for as long as we want) or long exposure times. Thus, we can play with the ISO, aperture and shutter speed to set a snapshot with some custom settings. The exposure time is also related to the quality of our sensor, and the ability of it to not warm .

  • Tripod : is practically essential. It depends on the environment where we place ourselves for making and factors such as wind , but the more robust and stable it is, the less risk we obtain a trepidada image . Having a good tripod is something relevant, especially when (as is the case) will make long exposure photos

  • Objective :. Contrary to what one might think, as recommended is not a telephoto but a wide angle , because they are usually brighter and allow us to cover a larger image.


  • Open : if we have a lens with a fairly large number f, we must also be aware of large openings that the focal length is reduced and usually produce more aberrations . Ideally use a nearby diaphragm f / 8 , which is usually the closest to sweet spot our goal

  • Shutter speed . depend on the brightness of the scene and what they want get. Sometimes it is intended to capture the wake of stars produced by the rotation of the earth, so we should use a very slow shutter speed, which would be offset by closing the diaphragm. On the other hand, will have to use a faster shutter if you want a fixed stellar image set, here you have to open the diaphragm and raise the ISO if necessary.

  • ISO : as mentioned in the previous point, the sensitivity can be a good resource if our intention is to capture still image without resorting to a slow shutter speed. The problem is that a high sensitivity value increases noise shown in the snapshot. This point will depend on the characteristics of our camera and how can withstand high sensitivities

  • Focus . The ideal is to use the manual focus , perhaps helping the live view to increase the image and check it’s in focus properly. You can also choose to use autofocus , then point to a bright star, and change it to manual so that it will not change.

Pollution Light

It is the great enemy of all amateur astrophotography. Light pollution is caused mainly in cities , and prevent properly contemplate the sky. As we move away from the urban centers, the residual lumen is decreased and let us see the constellations properly.

In many cases, this effect is to blame for the night shots appear with an orange hue, little aberrations and focus. It is a stray light which ends reflecting on our lens and ending causing our images do not have the required quality.

The solution is to move away from areas particularly lighting, allowing us not only to capture better pictures, but enjoy with our own eyes a stellar spectacle not usually conscious.


What you should know for astrophotography
Source: english  
March 1, 2015

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