Milky Way photography will be presented in this article.

I would like to share with you how to take amazing pics of night sky with Stars and Milky way Photography.

Here are some examples

https://i1.wp.com/prahapp.cz/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/10339376_10152510877793905_2131764237496283506_o.jpg?w=1218
Milkyway Antalya Samanyolu
https://i1.wp.com/prahapp.cz/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/Milky-Way-Pic-1.jpg?w=1218
Milky Way Photography 1
https://i1.wp.com/prahapp.cz/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/FjOR9kX.jpg?w=1218
Milkyway with Northern Lights
https://i1.wp.com/prahapp.cz/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/Milky-Way-Pic-2.jpg?w=1218
Milky Way Photography 2
https://i2.wp.com/prahapp.cz/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/11_8.jpg?w=1218
Milkyway with Empty Sky
https://i1.wp.com/prahapp.cz/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/mwskyglow_moore_2500.jpg?w=1218
Milkyway with Northern Lights

You dont have to have amazing camera or lens to have cool pictures to have milky way photography.

There is few paramaters to have good milky way photography;

1. Clear Sky with less light pollution.(You will see below how to check)

2. Preferred nights without moon to not have extra light pollution by moons reflection from sun on the atmosphere.

3. A camera with good iso work and .raw format capability. (an ordinary DSLR would be ok).

4. As wide as possible lens (an ordinary lens is still okay).

5. Tripod.

6. Passionate photographer (since you are reading this you are one of them)


 Lets start with the 1st one;

I recommend to use  Darksky application for that

https://i1.wp.com/prahapp.cz/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/Blackout_Todd_CarlsonTowards_Toronto_Goodwood_Ontario.jpg?w=1218
Light Pollution example
https://i1.wp.com/prahapp.cz/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/Light_Pollution_Diagram_680px.jpg?w=1218
Light Pollution example

2nd : (best time for milky way photography)

New Moon 1st Quarter Full Moon Last Quarter
Dec. 3 07:40
Dec. 11 10:29 Dec. 18 15:14 Dec. 25 11:11 Jan. 2 05:30
Jan. 10 01:30 Jan. 16 23:26 Jan. 24 01:46 Feb. 1 03:28
Feb. 8 14:39 Feb. 15 07:46 Feb. 22 18:20 Mar. 1 23:11
Mar. 9 01:54 Mar. 15 17:03 Mar. 23 12:01 Mar. 31 15:17
Apr. 7 11:24 Apr. 14 03:59 Apr. 22 05:24 Apr. 30 03:29
May 6 19:30 May 13 17:02 May 21 21:15 May 29 12:12
Jun. 5 03:00 Jun. 12 08:10 Jun. 20 11:02 Jun. 27 18:19
Jul. 4 11:01 Jul. 12 00:52 Jul. 19 22:57 Jul. 26 23:00
Aug. 2 20:45 Aug. 10 18:21 Aug. 18 09:27 Aug. 25 03:41
Sep. 1 09:03 Sep. 9 11:49 Sep. 16 19:05 Sep. 23 09:56
Oct. 1 00:12 Oct. 9 04:33 Oct. 16 04:23 Oct. 22 19:14
Oct. 30 17:38 Nov. 7 19:51 Nov. 14 13:52 Nov. 21 08:33
Nov. 29 12:18 Dec. 7 09:03 Dec. 14 00:05 Dec. 21 01:56
Dec. 29 06:53

 

Between last quarter and New moon is good time, or before the moon start shining you still have time to take some cool milky way photography.

3rd:Lately most of the new cameras are able to capture with .raw format and with the latest camera sensor it has really good iso work so any new camera should be fine.

4rd: Mostly kit lenses are starting from 3.5 aperture so it is okay to have a kit lens with 3.5 f and wider angle is always better for this so as wide as possible which is 18mm is fair enough.

5th: Any Tripod which will allow you to stabilise the camera will be enough.

6th: Here we go with the camera settings for milky way photography


Camera Settings For the Night Sky with Stars and Milky Way Photography

1.Aperture : It should be the highest aperture possible with the lens, if you have 3.5 max  so use 3.5 f

2. Focus: use the manual focus and choose the brightest object on the sky and zoom maximum and do the focus manually and never touch it again untill touch it mistakenly 🙂

3. Iso: Depends on your cameras capability try to have Iso between 1600-3200. To get that low lights that even human eye cant catch you need iso power unfortunately. The pics can be a little bit grainy but it will worth . even some of the grains looks like stars so dont worry and boost your Iso up!

4. Shutter Speed: This is a little bit tricky because world is turning rotationaly 1609.34 km/h which means if you go long shutter speed the sky will look unsharp. Actually this is another technic if you leave your camera to take pics on bulk mode 30min-60 min(totally not recommended because your cameras sensor gets tired and tired each time) you may have star trail pictures as below)

https://i2.wp.com/prahapp.cz/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/maxresdefault.jpg?w=1218
Star Trail
So if you want to have sharp pictures depends on your focal length you can play between 15 – 30 seconds. (if you have 50mm focal length it is between 5-15 as much as lens as short as shutter speed.

Summary for milky way photography
I am using Nikon D7100 with 18-105 kit lens and my settings are generally : 18mm 3.5 f  2000-2500 Iso 20-30 second and i have really good pictures with it.
On my second camera : D700 with 24-85 lens my settings are generally : 24mm 2.8 2000-3200 iso  20-40 second and i have amazing milky way photography.
If you have any questions about it please do not hesitate to contact me i can give you some ideas
Good luck!
Night Sky with Stars and Milky Way Photography

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