Star photography

In this blog, I am going to be covering some point-form basics of what you need to do and what keep in mind when attempting to photograph the night sky.

Star photography

Thinks to keep in mind:

  • Phase of the moon (the darker the night sky the better)
  • What time the moon is rising/setting (as above)
  • Cloud cover
  • Ambient light (avoid areas where light pollution may be a hindrance)
  • Direction you want to shoot (as above)
The Basics
What you will need:
• DSLR Camera
• Wide angle lens – The wider the better – Anything wider than 35mm
• A small torch – To paint subjects e.g.  Trees
• Headlamp
• Tripod
• Remote – Not essential as self timer works just as well


  • Manual mode: Allows full control
  • Shutter speed: 20 -25 sec, on the camera it will look like this 20’’
  • ISO: Anything between 1600 – 3200 Depending on equipment setup
  • Aperture: As low as possible for example 2.8 to allow more light intake.
  • Manual focus
  • Live view: Helps with focus and composition
  • Remember to put ISO noise reduction ON

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Some Helpful tips:

  • Use live view and zoom in 10x on the brightest star to find sharp focus.
  • Boost ISO to 12800 with a shutterspeed of 6’’ for a quick and easy way to find best composition
  • Use portrait to include as much of the sky as possible
  • Always try to compose the image with some sort of landmark to give the image perspective
  • Play

Star Trails

  • Find celestial south(not essential)
  • Use high ISO and short Shutter speed to compose
  • Look for landmarks to include in the image
  • ISO 100
  • F2.8
  • Leave shutter open for between 30 – 40 minutes
  • Alternative is to use starstax app






I hope you find the above useful and are able to get out there and put your new skillset to the test!

Until next time,


One thought on “Star photography

  1. Elena Hanakova


    good tips even for somebody who is doing astro-photography

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