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PHOTOGRAPHY - How to take photos of the sky at night?

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posted on Mar, 19 2012 @ 05:31 AM
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Venus and jupiter are putting on a good show right now and I have my new dslr at the ready but need some tips on settings to get that great shot. How do you take photos of the sky at night?

Found some nice pics on BBC site this morning. I want mine to look as good.
Venus and Jupiter




posted on Mar, 19 2012 @ 05:36 AM
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reply to post by wigit
 


Here's some tips.

Tripod. no excuses

Set the camera to Bulb mode (to manually hold open the shutter, around 20 seconds plus is what you need to start with to get good results.

Also, get a remote shutter trigger, either wired or wireless, this removes camera shake when you press the shutter button. Failing that, you can go old school and cover the lens, press shutter and remove hands, then remove cover. (such as a black card)

Some starter tips!



posted on Mar, 19 2012 @ 05:51 AM
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Also make sure you find a good spot with no light and you could try filters to help make colours more vibrant.



posted on Mar, 19 2012 @ 06:33 AM
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good advices so far


A tripod is a must thats for sure and shutter speed at 20 seconds sounds good. Is there a lot of ambiant light where you're going to shoot from?

I'm guessing you got a stock lens with your Dslr, 18-105mm or similar which have a max aperture of 3,5/f, thats good.

If there isn't much city lights you can take your ISO up to 1600, otherwise try around 800

anyway, you should play around to check the results. When it comes to post processing I like to use Lightroom 4, if your night shots are too grainy, tweaking with the luminance noise reduction works great.

Oh and post those pictures up in here too


edit on 19-3-2012 by jesiaha because: FML



posted on Mar, 19 2012 @ 06:58 AM
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What type of dslr do you have. I am using a d3000 nikon and have had pretty good success with it . The tripod and remote are a must for long exposures. The nikon ( If thats what you are using ) has a very cheap remote that works well. I use manual setting and a hand timer. Alot if it is trial and error but thats part of the fun.

kenrockwell.com...

This is a site that I use alot. Its free and he has some really good advice. This is a review of the 3000 but he reviews all kinds of cameras and has all kind of hints. Another money saver, Check Goodwill. You would be suprised how many times they have good tripods and other accessories.



posted on Mar, 21 2012 @ 04:49 AM
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Thanks for the tips. At the moment I'm like a cow holding a gun. Useless!
A good tripod is on my list of things still to buy, and a remote timer. I plan to find bulb mode asap too, lol. It's a canon 60d, and there's TONS of things to learn on it. I didn't buy stock lens, I have a 50mm 1.8, 28mm 2.8, and an old Cosina 19-35 to play with.

I bought it for movie making but it would be crazy to own something like this and not know how to take good sky shots. I might miss something awesome.

Took a pic of the sky last night and managed to get plenty stars in, stars I can't even see with my own two eyes, and I did catch Venus and Jupiter. Though the shots aren't very good. I'm just surprised I caught anything. Any other camera I've had picked up ZERO in the night sky.

Should I put the camera on a preset mode, or get stuck right into the pro side of the dial? I'm not sure what I did last night, I just took a shot. Should I leave ISO on automatic? I'm don't even know what that is other than it's important.



posted on Mar, 21 2012 @ 05:08 AM
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The presets are useful when you're not too savy with handling manual settings and want quick point and shoot. I suggest you play around with various shutter speed, aperture and ISO settings to become familiar with the results you get under different lighting conditions. When you'll get the hang of it, presets become pretty much useless.

I never use automatic ISO in order to get steady results. Anyway, its pretty easy to adjust on the go with the slide of a bracket


lol I remember before I got a remote taking exposures above 100 seconds...I was holding the shutter button and controlling my breathing to avoid shaking the camera like a marksman would before firing a shot


Got a nice scenery at about 3 clicks and a mild wind from the east...Roger that, waiting for green light...''exhale''...CLICK!

edit on 21-3-2012 by jesiaha because: (no reason given)


I've got some of my pictures up on this site
Gallery


edit on 21-3-2012 by jesiaha because: ADHD



posted on Mar, 21 2012 @ 05:37 AM
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Never tried a 60D before, I'd assume it would be similar to my old 350D?

Put the camera in (M) mode for manual, then spin the dial near the shutter which should show you the exposure time through the viewfinder (might be viewable on the lcd?). Anyway, rotate the dial adjusting it until it starts going to 1 sec then maybe 3sec, 5sec, 10sec etc. Keep going until it reaches 30 seconds, then go one more click and it will say 'bulb'. Then you can hold it open as long as you want.

If you cant get a tripod yet, make something! A chair, post, as long as that camera is rock steady.
With those lenses, you will be totally astounded at how much light it can pick up, way more than us mere mortals! As for remotes, I ordered one from china of ebay like this LINK for less than $15 they are the best accessory I've ever bought for my camera.
They can even be set to do continual intervals. So it takes 35 secs, and repeats until your mem card is full. You can easily make a star motion series into a movie file. Its great fun!
Best of luck, and post your results!

(here's a star trail photo I made from my backyard (suburbia...grrrr light pollution) from my lowly 350D using the stock lens, not fantastic, but it was all I could afford) Although, I might add that I think doing mega long open shutter sessions (hours at a time) might have caused about 20 stuck pixels in my camera. Hopefully that problem has been resolved in your 60D.



posted on Mar, 21 2012 @ 05:38 AM
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reply to post by jesiaha
 


OOh, lovely. I want to take photos like yours too. I've plans to try the steel wool thing. Got a few how-to vids on my youtube playlist for them. My sons will like helping me with those as well. I love your Dark City and Vanilla Sky ones. Excellent.

Sounds like everyone goes through a nooby stage too, which is heartening.
I used an old tripod last night. It cost me £1 about 10 yrs ago at a car booter. Now the legs don't tighten and the screwy bits are filled with sand. So, I set it at it's lowest, which is about 8 inches tall and put it on front doorstep to take Venus shots. I kept strap round my neck in case the whole lot collapsed. I hope there'll be less contorting when I find a sturdy one. haha



posted on Mar, 21 2012 @ 05:42 AM
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reply to post by jesiaha
 


Wow! Some great shots there man! I really love the tranquil waters photo. Your very lucky to get a chance to photograph nature as epic as that! I'm jealous
Any thoughts of going back there to get some more pics, hopefully with better skies? sunset? Anyways, just wanted to say how awesome the pics were



posted on Mar, 21 2012 @ 05:43 AM
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reply to post by Qumulys
 


Thanks for that info. I really do need it spelled out to me with numbers and exactly what to press. The more details the better. I like your pic. I'd be proud if I took that.

You're right about those lenses. I walked around the garden in near pitch black the other night taking photos. Bloody hell, you COULD find a needle in a haystack. I said to His nibs, "I bet our cats can see like that, while we're blind and tripping over stuff."



posted on Mar, 21 2012 @ 05:54 AM
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reply to post by jesiaha
 


I've just set Dark City as my background wallpaper. "Roaring By" - how would I set the camera to take something like that?
edit on 21-3-2012 by wigit because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 21 2012 @ 05:59 AM
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reply to post by Qumulys
 


That shot is pretty awesome even with the light pollution! Have you ever done any Time Lapse?




OOh, lovely. I want to take photos like yours too. I've plans to try the steel wool thing. Got a few how-to vids on my youtube playlist for them. My sons will like helping me with those as well. I love your Dark City and Vanilla Sky ones. Excellent. Sounds like everyone goes through a nooby stage too, which is heartening. I used an old tripod last night. It cost me £1 about 10 yrs ago at a car booter. Now the legs don't tighten and the screwy bits are filled with sand. So, I set it at it's lowest, which is about 8 inches tall and put it on front doorstep to take Venus shots. I kept strap round my neck in case the whole lot collapsed. I hope there'll be less contorting when I find a sturdy one. haha


I'm still in my nooby stage myself lol. Steel wools are alot of fun to do and easy too, just gotta do it safetly...although I'm no reference for saftely, I get pretty reckless
Doing it on the rooftop of my appartment building was kinda dumb


Check this guy's Aurora borealis pictures...They would even give a pope a major boner
Gallery



posted on Mar, 21 2012 @ 06:14 AM
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Originally posted by Qumulys
reply to post by jesiaha
 


Wow! Some great shots there man! I really love the tranquil waters photo. Your very lucky to get a chance to photograph nature as epic as that! I'm jealous
Any thoughts of going back there to get some more pics, hopefully with better skies? sunset? Anyways, just wanted to say how awesome the pics were


Thanks for the kind words

I think about it almost every day lol. I had such epic experiences back when I lived in the Canadian Rockies but I didn't have my Nikon D7000 back then so I missed the opportunity to capture crrrrrrrazy night skies and sights. I remember one night during winter, something at the Banff electric plant blew up and the whole town was left in the dark for a couple of hours. The whole sky was lit up with Auroras!


Originally posted by wigit
reply to post by jesiaha
 


I've just set Dark City as my background wallpaper. "Roaring By2 - how would I set the camera to take something like that?

Thats a 30 seconds exposure with the aperture set at f/22 and ISO at 100



posted on Mar, 21 2012 @ 07:20 AM
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Originally posted by jesiaha
Check this guy's Aurora borealis pictures...They would even give a pope a major boner
Gallery


Wow! I understand what you're saying, and that's without having a willy.

Magical photos.



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