here are a variety of techniques that can be used to create dynamic photographs of the night sky, including capturing the stars as pinpoints of light, as star trails and by creating time-lapse movies of the stars as they move across the sky during the course of an evening.
To find out their techniques for great photos of the night sky. We also asked our in-homes making the guru and senior technical manager, Steve Heiner to give us tips for making great time lapse of the stars.
“The subject will often determine if I pursue star trails or pinpoints of light”. “If a scene has a lot going on in the foreground, stars represented as pinpoints may complement the scene, rather than overwhelm it.”
“Enthusiasts of may choose to invest in special equipment for tracking the stars as the earth moves,” explains Deborah. A telescope mount moves the camera/telescope as the earth rotates. This allows for the night sky that will pick up the fainter light of the Milky Way for example.
To photograph the stars in the sky as pinpoints of light, start with as wide an f/stop as your lens allows, and shutter speed of about 20 seconds. Any more time than that and the stars will begin to blur. Increase the ISO as needed for a good.
often let the foreground be lit by moon light on nights when the moon is bright enough because there is enough detail and light to add to the image. “On dark nights, I only light paint foreground elements when it makes artistic sense,” she says, noting that she tries to make the foreground look as natural as possible.
There are two techniques uses when photographing the moon and stars in one scene. At times, she will bracket the and composite two frames together, so the final image will have both the moon and the stars properly. Other times she’ll use multiple to for the moon and stars separately.
Light up the foreground
Using a wide-angle or fisheye lens, you can also incorporate the foreground into your images. Depending upon the subject, the foreground as a silhouette may enhance the overall image, or detail in the foreground may complement the night sky. The foreground can also be lit using a variety of techniques.
High Dynamic Range (HDR): One technique is to take multiple pictures, varying the actual taken time, and merge them as HDR which you can composite with the image of the properly sky.
Painting with Light is another technique that can be used if the foreground is close enough. There are two ways to paint with light: using a constant light source such as a flashlight or with a Speedlight.
Constant light source: while the shutter is open, use a constant light source to illuminate the foreground. Move the light around during the entire up with spots.
Speedlights: while the shutter is open, press the Speedlight’s Flash button. As with the constant light, move the Speedlight across the scene to allow the flash to illuminate the entire foreground.
And just because there are clouds in the sky doesn’t mean you need to stay indoors. The clouds can add an interesting aspect to night photography when they’re sparsely dotting the sky, allowing the stars to peek through.
If you’re out taken the picture star trails, don’t forget that some of the individual you take to stack together may also stand on their own as individual photographs. this is to be the with the first image. It is one of the single that also up being stacked into a star trail image. “Often a single picture of stars can be beautiful”, “This image, because it was picture in clear atmospheric conditions, allows the Milky Way to be seen.”
Speedlights Painting with Light
creates unique, almost unworldly images of the night sky by incorporating the painting with light technique to illuminate the foreground. He uses Speedlights to paint with light, pressing the Flash button multiple times while the shutter is open during a to “pop” light into the scene. Colored gels over the Speedlights add a uniqueness to these photographs, each of which are created from a single long with the camera (RAW) files.
Pete set the white balance on his D4 to daylight, and used an ISO range of 4,000 to 12,800 over the course of taking the picture. Shutter speeds ranged from 15 to 25 seconds. Pete manually focused the camera on the closest trees in the foreground.
“Its important to shoot during a new moon—when the moon is not visible in the night sky—to keep light to a minimum,” Pete explained. He also decided on the location based on its distance from cities.
Both Pete and his assistant held Nikon Speedlights with colored gels over the flash heads. During the time the shutter was open, they would “pop” the flashes, to illuminate the foreground trees and boulders. With Pete to one side of the camera, and his assistant on the other, they began painting with light from a distance of about 15 feet from the camera, each moving further from the camera, on an angle that brought them close to the subjects in the foreground. This allowed the light to be more dimensional, wrapping around the trees. Each was able to pop off from two to 10 flashes from each Speedlights during each. Pete explained that while the Speedlights aren’t constant light sources, you still need to be aware of where you’re pointing the flash up with hot spots in the images.
Shoot the moon
Photographing the moon along with the foreground landscape can be tricky because of the wide dynamic range. In this the optimum solution may be to create a multiple or composite.
There are a few ways that you can add the moon to another image for a more interesting composition. One of those techniques is by using the Image Overlay function that is incorporated into many Nikon DSLR cameras. Deborah often uses this technique. In the picture of the Fishing Shack (photo 4 in the grouping above), she first photographed the moon, then the fishing shack, combining them in-camera using the Image Overlay function. (Check your manual to find out if your camera offers the Image Overlay feature.)
Post-production composite: Another technique is to photograph the moon and the landscape as separate images and combine them together using an image-editing program.
Use the same focal length lens that while taking the picture the landscape with, when you photograph the moon, for the most realistic look in the final composite. It also makes the actual compositing easier to do. If you’re using a wide-angle lens and the moon is a small element.
Remember to use a shutter speed of about 1/15 second or faster since the moon actually moves pretty fast across the sky.
View stars in motion using time-lapse photography
Digital photography allows photographers the ability to use a lot of really cool techniques for capturing imagery—even the passing of time—by using time-lapse photography. Many of today’s Nikon digital cameras feature an interval timer built-in. The interval timer controls the span of time between and the total number of made by the camera for an orderly recording of images over the timespan you want the time-lapse to cover. You choose the number of images to take, at specified intervals and the total period of time that you want the camera to take a picture.