The bright starry sky is a subject that many photographers want to shoot. But for the first photographers, shooting the starry sky is actually quite difficult. It not only requires certain skills, but also has high requirements for photographic equipment. Today we will introduce the skills and equipment selection of starry sky photography.
choice of shooting location
Because shooting starry sky photos requires the camera to increase the sensitivity and long exposure, Therefore, the requirements for the light environment are very high. The light in the city that is not glaring to the naked eye will have a serious impact on the imaging after a long exposure. Therefore, the starry sky and the Milky Way should be taken away from the city to avoid light pollution.
Bulaotun Village on the north bank of Miyun Reservoir in Miyun District is a good place to photograph the starry sky
I often go The places are in the suburbs around Beijing and on the prairie of Inner Mongolia. The weather is also very important. For example, the air quality during the day is good, which is good for the creation at night. Overcast skies will cause the shooting to fail, so check the weather forecast repeatedly before starting to shoot.
Generally speaking, it has manual shooting mode and uses large image sensor Both of the mirrorless and SLR cameras can easily be used for starry sky shooting. It is difficult to operate the camera in a dark environment. If the camera has the feature of touch operation, it will be easier. After talking about the camera, let’s talk about the lens. If possible, use a large aperture lens as much as possible. Using the wide-angle end of the lens to capture as much content in the sky as possible, making the picture more impactful. Because long exposures are required, a tripod that provides stable shooting is essential.
Nikon Z6 camera is a camera with good sensitivity performance. The Z 6 uses an FX format back-incident CMOS sensor with approximately 24.5 million effective pixels, which brings good image clarity. The EXPEED 6 image processor of the Z 6 helps to take advantage of the high resolution of NIKKOR Z-mount lenses and NIKKOR F-mount lenses, as well as the camera’s high-pixel image sensor performance. It is designed to bring high definition to images while effectively reducing noise, making the camera reach the upper limit of ISO 51200 sensitivity.
For lens, AF-S NIKKOR 20mm f/1.8G ED is a very good choice. This lens has a wide viewing angle of 20mm and a constant maximum aperture of f/1.8, which can effectively increase the amount of light entering and take a clearer picture of the star point.
In addition, you also need to bring a flashlight, not only to provide lighting in a dark environment, but also to illuminate the foreground scenery, so that the starry sky photography composition is no longer monotonous. In order to avoid the impact of vibration caused by pressing the shutter, you can also prepare a remote camera or a shutter release. Of course, using the camera’s two-second countdown shooting function can also effectively avoid the impact of vibration on the shooting.
The problem of composition
Starry sky photography does not have too strict requirements for composition. Just under the stars and the Milky Way. Try a few more times to get a rough idea of the distribution of the stars and the direction of the Milky Way in the screen. There are also many auxiliary software for starry sky shooting on the APP. Pick up the phone and open the APP, and you can get a rough idea of the direction of the Milky Way by comparing against the night sky.
Understand the position and direction of the Milky Way
The time when the Milky Way core appears in a year is gradually advanced. The most suitable shooting time of the year is from April to October. The Milky Way in April appears at dawn and the Milky Way in October is after sunset. The location where the Milky Way core appears is generally in the south, which varies according to seasons and time, but the south is the basic direction.
add some foreground to make the picture not monotonous
If you only shoot the night sky, the picture will be too monotonous, if appropriate It will be better to add the foreground. For example, houses on the grassland, parked vehicles, etc. But because it is a dark environment, these things that serve as the foreground need to be artificially supplemented. In the process of shooting the starry sky with a long exposure, use a flashlight or the flash of a mobile phone to illuminate the foreground objects for one to two seconds, and what is finally presented in the picture is Clear and bright foreground objects and bright starry sky make this composition more impactful.
How to focus
In a dark environment, whether it is phase detection or contrast detection The focus method cannot make the camera focus accurately. At this time, the manual focus mode should be used. If you are using a SLR camera, you can adjust the lens focus ring in the eyepiece viewfinder for the brightest star until the star becomes clear in the picture.
adjust the focus mode of the lens to manual focus
slowly turn the focus ring until the picture is clear
If you use the LCD screen to view the view, you can turn on the camera’s zoom and focus function, look for the brightest star and slowly adjust the zoom ring until it is clear.
The difficulty of shooting starry sky is actually not too high, basically Large aperture, high sensitivity and long exposure time, because of the earth’s rotation, if the exposure time is too long, it may cause the phenomenon of starry sky smear. The intuitive feeling is that the photo is not clear. Therefore, starry sky photography has a 500 rule for exposure time, that is, the equivalent focal length multiplied by the exposure time should be less than 500. For example, if we use 24mm wide-angle shooting, the exposure time should be controlled at about 20 seconds, not more than 30 seconds.
The white lines in the starry sky are meteor showers
After adjustment, use software such as PS to adjust the highlights, The shadow, contrast, natural saturation and other options can be adjusted to get better results.
must pay attention to safety
In addition to these photographic equipment, shooting meteor showers requires light pollution There are few places to shoot, such as on the grassland or in the mountains and forests. The temperature in these places is relatively low even in the summer and night. So friends who want to shoot meteor showers should not wear too little. An outdoor jacket is a must Not only can it keep warm, but it can also prevent dew from getting wet. Long clothes and trousers can also effectively prevent mosquito bites. Bring Liushen toilet water and mosquito repellent if you have conditions. Pay attention to changes in the weather before shooting. Meteor showers cannot be captured on rainy or cloudy days.
Jackets have good warmth and waterproof effects
Hungry! Let’s have a Snickers!
Less light pollution means darkness, so for the sake of safety, everyone must go together with professional flashlights and other lighting equipment. Photographing the starry sky and the Milky Way at night is hard, refreshing drinks and high-calorie foods are also essential. At the end of the day, I still want to remind everyone that you must pay attention to safety when shooting the starry sky and the Milky Way. If you travel in groups, don’t do dangerous things or put yourself in a dangerous situation.
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