Astrophotography is a type of photography that involves taking pictures of the night sky and the countless celestial bodies that reside within it. While it does share some similarities to other types of photography, there are some notable differences that it a fairly unique pastime.
For one, specialised equipment will almost always be needed, such as some kind of telescope. While even the most expensive lenses are able to take fairly decent images of satellites like the moon or larger-scale pictures of the night sky, they’re simply not enough for capturing bodies that are further away. But that’s just one aspect to keep in mind, and we’ll explore more with the helpful hints below.
1. Finding The Right Gear
Even the world’s most expensive smartphones with the very latest in camera technology don’t have the ability to capture anything in the night sky with great detail, so it may mean investing in some specific equipment. A DSLR camera is absolutely necessary, as nothing else can offer quite the same level of detail or stability.
Taking stability one step further may mean getting a hold of a tripod, especially considering that many pictures need to be taken over a period of hours, and a tripod provides consistent stability throughout. While lenses can be used, even a cheap and small telescope is a worthwhile investment.
2. Go To Dark Sky Locations
Light pollution can pose a serious problem to the overall quality of the pictures and trying to take images in the middle of a city can mean that the light may prevent the camera from getting anything decent.
It’s worth finding a designated dark sky location that’s not too far of a drive, and heading out there for a few hours. Not only will this offer much better pictures, but these locations also tend to be peaceful and away from anyone that may interfere.
3. Special Filters
Light pollution is a problem that can be found in most areas of the world, so it may be worth investing in a light pollution filter. These filters are able to significantly reduce the amount of artificial light that the camera picks up when capturing an image.
They tend to be inexpensive filters that can fit on the end of a lens and can cut out everything from the light produced by car headlights to streetlamps.
4. Editing At Home
For those that are new to photography in general, one golden rule to always keep in mind is that images need to be saved in the RAW format.
This is a much more powerful format when it comes to the post processing phase, allowing the photographer to edit the image to a much finer level. It’s also a good idea to have a stable backup solution for all pictures, such as an external hard drive or cloud storage.