Today I show you how to photograph the milkyway and stars in 2 minutes! There’s a cheat sheet at 1:42 as well to screengrab! 

Click here for a more in-depth tutorial.

Here’s how you Photograph the Milkyway

Nowadays most cameras are fantastic and can shoot the stars, even if you have a lens with an aperture of f4, a point and shoot or even some of the more modern camera phones, you will still be able to get the stars in your shots.

You will need a tripod, and a camera with manual mode setting and an exposure time, (shutter speed) as long as 30 seconds. 

Wait for the new moon…approximately 2 weeks after a full moon and some clear skies…this can take a while but be ready for it when it happens…

Whilst your waiting, find a good dark location near you with lightpollutionmaps.info…the darker the colour the better

Once you’re at a dark location, away from any big cities, street lights and towns:

Start with a wide angle lens to get as many stars in as possible

Get the camera on the tripod and point it in the direction you want to photograph

Set to manual mode,

Change to manual focus

Set your ISO to 6400

Set your Aperture as wide as possible so the lowest f number

Get your phone out, use the calculator, and if you’re on a crop sensor camera take 300 and divide it by your focal length or on a full frame camera take 500 and divid it by your focal length (so the mm number on your lens). 

This will give you the maximum exposure time you can use to get good pinpoint stars…

I’m using a 25mm so the slowest shutter speed I can use is 20 seconds…So I set this to 20 seconds

Set the camera to self timer

FInd a bright star or a light on the horizon and manually focus in on it until you can see it clearly…you might have to use the magnifier built in to see this properly and you will need some patience.

Then take a shot

If it is too bright, drop the ISO, if it is too dark, increase the ISO. 

If your stars are like big blobs, you need to work on your focussing, go back and refocus manually again…

Once you get a good shot, you should be able to see stars in the night sky…

If you want to find out where the milkyway is, check out this tutorial on photopills, a great app to find all the things you need in the night sky: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=soxIL…

Astrophotography with the A7iii: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XPVEE…

7 things you need to Photograph the Milkyway: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JpU9I…

I also have a more recent video on the top 10 ultra wide lenses for astrophotography here: https://www.boxheadmike.com/10-ultra-wide-lenses-for-astrophotography/

…and you can find my astrophotography playlist here: https://www.boxheadmike.com/astrophotography/

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Thanks

Mike

mike@boxheadmike.com

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