Simple tips and tricks for getting the best milky way photos – from when to go, where to go and what gear to use.
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March to October is good but the best times to see the galactic core is late april to late july here in the Northern Hemisphere. In the southern hemisphere February to october with the galactic core best visible during June and July – The galactic core is arguably the most interesting and most photogenic section of the milky – So take a moment and add a calendar reminder to watch this video again in the spring.
You also want nights with no moon – this means a new moon or dates when the moon is below the horizon – a quick search online yields lots of helpful info, I have linked my favorite source of moon rise/set below. On iOS and android I love Photopills it has at a glance moon info as well as rise/set times for the Galactic core for your location AND a mode that lets you overlay the night sky & milky way on the landscape where you are standing!
some place with low amounts of light pollution -to figure out the closest dark skies visit website Dark site Finder – Yellow is eh, Green is ok, blue is good, black is even better. But don’t let this stop you from trying – Your milky way shots might not be the best but at least get out, practice and develop the skills so when you end up at the right time and place you can get THE SHOT.
DO include interesting foreground elements – rocks, trees, mountains, something to ground your viewer on earth while giving them a taste of the stars above.
You need a sturdy tripod – I have my favorites listed below.
Lens choice. Full Frame equivalents of 14 to 30 work well for me . The IRIX firefly is my current budget favorite – I have a review of several lenses perfect for astrophotography linked below. You could go fisheye or shoot a panorama if you have a full view of the sky with little light pollution.
Camera Settings –
Get manual focus during the day and then tape or lock your focus ring at that point.
Aperture -widest your lens allows – f/2.8 is great wider is even better Kit lenses at f/3.5 are a possibility too.
Shutter speed – Probably about 20 seconds but follow the 500 rule and keep that shutter speed as short as possible so stars are pinpoints and not streaks. Taking multiple shots and stacking for lower noise higher detail is an option too – I haven’t done that yet – I have been happy with single shots.
ISO You are probably going to end up around 1600 – lower if you have a faster lens than f/2.8 – higher if you have a slower lens.
Post Processing I typically cool the image – brighten overall image but especially the stars by increasing the highlights and I use a brush to increase the brightness of the milky way and a second brush to decrease the brightness of the darker sections – overall increasing contrast and making the milky way stand out more.
let's talk about photographing the Milky Way now the best time of year to photograph the galactic core is late April to late July here in the Northern Hemisphere and the southern hemisphere it's best visible during June in July now the galactic core is arguably the most interesting and most photogenic section of the Milky Way so you should take a moment and add a calendar to reminder to watch this video again in late spring early summer but you also want to pay attention to the moon you want nights with no moon this means new moon or dates when the moon is below the horizon a quick search online yields lots of helpful info I've linked my favorite source for moon rise and set times below but on your device iOS or Android I love photo pills it has at a glance moon info as well as the rise set times for the galactic core for your location and a mode that lets you overlay the night sky and the Milky Way on the landscape where you're standing let's talk about where you're standing you want a place with low amounts of light pollution to figure out the closest dark skies spot visit the website dark sky finder yellow is green is good blue is even better black is awesome but don't let this stop you if you're in one of those more heavy light pollution areas from getting out there and trying your Milky Way shots might not be the best but at least get out there practice develop these skills so that when you end up at the right time and place you can get that awesome Milky Way shot you do want to include interesting foreground elements rocks trees mountains something to ground your viewer on earth while giving them a taste of the stars above gear wise sturdy tripod is incredibly important I've got my favorites listed right down below this video lens choice well a full-frame equivalents from about 14 to 30 millimeters works well for me the iris Firefly is my current budget favorite we've got a review of several lenses perfect for astrophotography that are linked right down below this video you could use a fisheye or shoot a panorama if you've got a full view of the sky with little light pollution camera settings get manual focus during the day and then tape or lock your focus ring at that point the infinity focus mark doesn't always mean true infinity focus and with trial and error you'll find out where exactly infinity focus is with your lens aperture the widest your lens allows those recommended lenses are often at f28 wider is even bit better though the kit lens at F 3.5 is a possibility also shutter speed you're probably gonna end up at around 20 seconds but you want to follow the 500 rule and keep that shutter speed as short as possible so that the stars are pinpoints and not streaks taking multiple shots and stacking for lower noise higher detail is an option though honestly I haven't done that I've been happy with single shots and with your ISO you're probably gonna end up around 1600 and lower if you've got a faster lens than f28 higher if you have a slower lens in post-processing I typically cool the image brighten it overall but especially the Stars by increasing the highlights and I use a brush to increase the brightness of the Milky Way and a second brush to decrease the brightness of the darker sections overall increasing contrast and milking that Milky Way stand out from the background more and that's a quick look at the basics of shooting a milky way if you found this video helpful please take a moment to hit that thumbs up button and the subscribe link along with the bail notification so you'll be notified of future tips tricks and gear reviews from photorec TV thanks so much for watching and I'd love to know in the comments where you hope to shoot the milky way someday goodbye