Astro Photography Tips - The Landscape Photography Approach
Astro Photography is really easy. We need just to consider a couple of things to get out a really fantastic photo.
#1 Clear Sky
The weather prediction for astro photography is easy as well. We just have to check the weather maps for clear sky, so that we don't have any clouds in the area we want to photograph. To get out even better results it is also recommendable to check for the air pressure. High pressure has the property to close the air package from the top, so that all the dust is locked inside it and we don't get a crisp view to the stars. Low pressure weather is our friend instead. The air can rise and we get amazingly sharp images.
#2 No Moon
The moon is such a fantastic object, isn't it? Unfortunately it gets to our enemy when it comes down to photograph the stars. The moon is too bright and we would not see the stars as well as in the darkest night. So check out for the moon, that you know on which time you can take your photograph.
#3 Light Pollution
Unfortunately the light pollution increased horrible over the last decades. Especially beside bigger cities, where so much artificial light is in use, it is not possible to see all too many stars. So we have to choose for a location with low light pollution. How high the light pollution at a specific location is, can be found out over light pollution maps, for example:
#4 Find out the right Shutter Speed
Our planet rotates and so we have to be careful not to get a motion blur into our stars. There is an old rule which says, 500 devided through the focal length results into the maximum possible shutter speed. But it doesn't consider the resolution of your camera and meanwhile the resolutions got so high, so that this old rule doesn't work anymore.
There exist different apps, where you can fill the focal length, the aperture and your camera - then you get calculated the maximum possible shutter speed without getting blurry stars. I use the app Photopills here, for instance.
#5 Arrive Early at Location
One of the most important things in astro photography - same as in landscape photography - is the composition. This is why it is a good idea to arrive early enough when you are able to see enough for building up a great composition and finally to return home with an amazing astro photo in your bag.
Check out my gear, which I use for my landscape photography:
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