Astrophotography

Astrophotography

Astrophotography is really difficult for multiple reasons. The earth is constantly rotating, almost no light sourcing, and photographing objects that need a telescope can cause a whole other layer of difficulties. Obviously to take a decent photo of the things above us, you will need a very low aperture, a very very low shutter speed, and an extensive lens.

Because of the high resolution sensors, it is better to get a lens that can be hooked directly into a telescope. There are adapters that are sold to be screwed into the viewfinder of the telescope. You should use a tripod and a very wide angle lens when shooting without a telescope.

Just a list of some of the astronomy that can be photographed: constellations, planetary conjunctions, star trails, the sun and moon, and even other galaxies.

These photos can be taken with extensive equipment, costing thousands of dollars, or with simple cameras and a little imagination.

Here are some examples of these photos:

 

Some tips of taking star-trail photos:

  • Set a medium aperture of f/5.6 to f/11. The stars won’t change much in brightness no matter which aperture setting you use, but smaller apertures will reduce the brightness of “skyglow” from nearby towns or other light sources.
    • Select a dark location away from city lights if possible. Include something interesting in the foreground (such as the trees above) to give scale to the image and to help show the sky’s apparent rotation against the earth.
    • Make sure you have new or freshly-charged batteries in your camera. Holding the shutter open for long periods drains batteries fast! If your camera has a DC car-power adapter, or a battery pack, use them.
    • Use a cable release or remote release, set manual focus, focus on infinity (put a small piece of masking tape on the lens’ focus ring to hold it if you can), and open the camera’s shutter. Leave it open as long as possible. Longer exposures mean longer star trails, but also pick up more “sky glow”

-mbennett

sources: http://www.mediacollege.com/photography/types/astrophotography/

http://www.popphoto.com/how-to/2008/12/how-to-astrophotography-101

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