12 outstanding astrophotographers worth following

Nov 5, 2020

Ole Henrik Skjelstad

Ole Henrik Skjelstad is a Norwegian math teacher and landscape photographer. He fell in love with photography in 2013 when he got a camera as a birthday present.

12 outstanding astrophotographers worth following

Nov 5, 2020

Ole Henrik Skjelstad

Ole Henrik Skjelstad is a Norwegian math teacher and landscape photographer. He fell in love with photography in 2013 when he got a camera as a birthday present.

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Photo: Nakul Sharma

We are proud to present twelve gifted astrophotographers—each with their stunning photos. Night photography isn’t the easiest genre to master – there are so many things to consider. On top of your usual composition and exposure, you have to deal with noise, shadow detail, preserving highlights, and special gear considerations for night lovers. However, this collection of photographers have mastered the craft.

Being out alone in the dark isn’t for the faint-hearted, but astrophotographers have learned to handle any fear of the dark when conditions are favorable. Some night images take a lot of planning: full moon and milky way images with specific foreground, for example. Interestingly, there are actually very few photographers who specialize solely in astrophotography. The majority are versatile and shoot various types of landscape images.

Kah-Wai Lin

Dr. Kah-Wai Lin is a landscape photographer based in New Jersey. He is the ambassador & education advisor of NiSi, ambassador & global marketing advisor of Fotopro, ambassador & global marketing advisor of Feiyu, a pro team member of Spiffy Gear, ambassador and an international liaison officer of Studio of Masters, and panda ambassador of World Wildlife Fund (WWF).

Aurora Highway

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Thrasivoulos Panou

Thrasivoulos was born in Volos, Greece, in 1980. As a kid, he was filled with many concerns about life, but he was also, a sports lover, naturalist, and a big fan of traveling. Today, he is a multimedia developer, but he has become passionate about photography and photo editing during the past few years. His purpose is to offer the world the best images one can shoot and edit. He thinks that everybody is an artist. One only has to believe in oneself.

Night Mirror

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Anthony Million

Anthony is a self-taught photographer living in the south of France. His chief interest in photography are landscapes and architectural fine art. He started photography in 2012, mostly with portraiture, but he quickly switched to landscape and architecture. He employs a very different creative approach depending on the genre. In all his images, he aims to render the world seen through his lens, expressing what he feels rather than what he witnessed during the shooting. “My work is the result of my vision of the world and the nature that surrounds me, sometimes bright and shiny, sometimes dark and moody…”

Fortress of universe

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Pablo Ruiz Garcia

Pablo Ruiz is a photographer based in Santander, Spain. He is passionate about landscape and night photography, traveling, and discovering new places. Pablo has always liked to observe the environment around him and enjoy nature. “Those seconds when you don’t think about anything and just look at and enjoy a landscape.” His greatest passion is mountain landscapes, although he started out shooting coastal scenes. It wasn’t until about six years ago when someone had the brilliant idea of giving him a camera as a present that he started with photography. He immediately loved it, and little by little, he gained experience and training. That meant many hours behind the camera, trips to many places with various landscapes, which gave him unique experiences.

Echeyde

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Sebastian Tontsch

Sebastian is an architecture and landscape photographer. ​ Born in Schwaebisch Gmuend in the south of Germany, he grew up in the beautiful German countryside in a small village where he learned to appreciate nature and the elements. As a youngster, he was taught by his father about the star constellations in the night sky, and it was then that he developed his passion for astrophotography. Landscape photography was his first professional field. Shooting cityscape developed later when he moved to the spectacular city of Dubai in 2013. Photographing Dubai – with its density of skyscrapers and city lights – became something of an addiction, and he is now well-known for his captures of the emirate.

Observer

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Alexander Ramat

Alexander is a Civil Engineer by profession and a passionate photographer. Photography became his PASSION and a serious HOBBY. He has been steadily building his portfolio in Cityscapes “roof topping,” which is very prominent in Dubai, Landscape, and Astrophotography, kindling a strong passion for the art in the process. Through photography, he endeavors to showcase our mother earth’s beauty, implying the importance of protecting our nature for the next generations.

Sleeping Beauty

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Giulio Cobianchi

Giulio is a 36-year-old professional landscape photographer from Italy, with a particular addiction to adventures in the middle of wild nature. For this reason, he decided to move to the heart of the Arctic Circle, to the Lofoten islands, where he can concentrate on carrying out his great passion. He likes to teach photography by organizing workshops worldwide, in places where nature offers the best of itself.

The Night of Dreams

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Victor Lima

Victor Lima is an award-winning Brazilian photographer passionate about night landscape photography. He had a job as a Civil Engineer but chose to dedicate himself full time to a career as a photographer and educator. After having purchased his first camera in late 2014, Victor had an impressively fast rise in photography. One of his images illustrated the cover of National Geographic Traveler within one year after he purchased his first camera. Currently, Victor Lima is considered one of Brazil’s main references in night landscape photography, promotes workshops and photographic expeditions focused on this theme. Besides, Victor is an official contributor to National Geographic for YourShot, NatGeo’s social photography network.

Magic Lagoon

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Waheed Akhtar

Waheed is a multiple international award-winning photographer from Pakistan based in Dubai, UAE. His images have also been used in many publications worldwide. Waheed works as a digital designer and fulfills his passion for photography, mostly on the weekends. He started taking pictures in 2013. He found his interest mostly in Astro / Nightscape, Landscape, and Architecture photography. One of his most favorite things to do is being out in nature, chasing light and clouds, sitting under the starry sky, and enjoy those moments while saving them forever in his camera.

Startrails from the Empty Quarter

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Mikkel Beiter

Mikkel is 32 years old and has the past ten years been living in Copenhagen, Denmark. He works full time as an IT Coordinator in a small IT company. Mikkel picked up his first DSLR camera around 2007. It was a Canon EOS 1000d he used for jobs covering the Danish nightlife, taking photos of people partying around in Copenhagen’s nightclubs. He did this a year or two during the weekends while studying to become an IT Technician. After a while, Mikkel lost interest in partying and taking pictures, so he placed the camera on the shelf for some years.

In 2013, he decided to volunteer on an environmental project out in the bush in Botswana, where he stayed for 2 months. He brought his camera for the trip. Now he had a Canon EOS 7d. Mikkel took a lot of wildlife images and also random landscape photos. Nothing extraordinary, but his interest in nature photography was kindled. In 2016 he went to Lofoten in Northern Norway with his little brother and their father. For this trip, he researched a lot about landscape photography: how to do long exposures, plan for the light on locations, use filters, and so on. “So the goal for this trip was to visit the area and come back with some beautiful landscape photos, but it created a fire inside me, and I have been in love with landscape photography ever since!” Today, he works with Sony Nordic as a Sony Alpha Pro Artisan. He spends his “vacations” time traveling to Europe’s Nordic regions to capture the gorgeous Nordic landscape.

Dreams

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Klaus Axelsen

Klaus is a 43-year-old landscape and nature photographer based in Oslo, Norway. He first picked up a camera in 2016 to shoot better family pictures, but got really hooked and developed a passion for nature and landscape photography. Klaus is drawn towards simplicity and calm and relaxing scenes. He believes in simplicity when deciding which parts of a scene to put into the frame. Lately, he has spent more time exploring details of nature with the camera.

Cliffs of Lyngen

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Nakul Sharma

Nakul Sharma is a traveler and photographer by profession, born and brought up in New Delhi. He grew up infected by the travel bug and spends most of his time traveling and photography. He is living his dreams of traveling with his camera, capturing the hidden and the most astonishing beauties of the world. Nakul believes in sharing his travel experiences and explorations through his photos. For him, every photo has a story to narrate; it must convey a strong message to the viewers.

Valensol night

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Each of the photographers has written a few words about themselves. All images are shared with permission.

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Ole Henrik Skjelstad

Ole Henrik Skjelstad

Ole Henrik Skjelstad is a Norwegian math teacher and landscape photographer. He fell in love with photography in 2013 when he got a camera as a birthday present.

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16 responses to “12 outstanding astrophotographers worth following”

  1. DSA Avatar
    DSA

    Last I checked astrophotography included much much more than just landscapes and milky way shots. Why not include some of the amazing deep sky astrophotography by the likes of Dylan O’donnell or Trevor Jones? Or the simply amazing planetary astrophotography of Damian Peach?

    1. Kaouthia Avatar
      Kaouthia

      Me: “I like chocolate”
      You: “OMG WHY DO YOU HATE PIZZA?!?!?”

      That’s what you sound like. Just because somebody wasn’t mentioned doesn’t mean they’re not worth following or that the author doesn’t like them.

      Why don’t you submit an article with your recommendations? :)

      1. Alan Beeler Avatar
        Alan Beeler

        You miss the point. The title is misleading. None of these are astrophotos. Astro landscapes perhaps. If you want to see astrophotography check out DSA’s recommendations.

      2. Kmpvg Avatar
        Kmpvg

        I agree with DSA. Deep sky astrophotography is the shit that takes extreme skill. Trevor Jones is the man! Astro landscapes are EXTREMELY easy by contrast. I’ll give you an example. My worst Milky Way photo is way better than my best photo of Andromeda. It’s a completely different beast.

      3. Ben Olry Avatar
        Ben Olry

        I know it seems like splitting hairs but the people that really excel at their AP must take very different acquisition, gear and processing routes in their field.

        Solar astrophotography needs long focal length, doesn’t care for chromatic aberrations and needs very expensive actively cooled filters and/or pressure tuners. They need to deal with Newton rings and process mainly via short bursts of lucky imaging in forms of videos. Camera-wise low read noise mono sensors are preferable – doesn’t need a dark sky and is very dependant on seeing conditions.

        Planetary astrophotography needs extremely long focal length and proper color correction in the optics. It also works via lucky imaging but is less reliant on filters. Camera-wise low read noise mono sensors as well as one shot color sensors can work – doesn’t need a dark sky and is very dependant on seeing conditions.

        Lunar astrophotography needs also extremely long focal length and can use both optics with and without proper color correction but needs filters in the latter case. It uses lucky imaging but then puts it together in a mosaic/panorama style for best results. Camera-wise low read noise mono sensors as well as osc sensors can work – doesn’t need a dark sky and is very dependant on seeing conditions.

        Deep sky object astrophotography works with focal lengths starting from 400mm up to what you can afford. It is more concerned with bringing out faint details that are hard to see with the naked eye and favours higher aperture ratios over sheer aperture and focal length. Best results need proper color correction despite using a lot of broadband or narrowband filters. Due to the long exposure times (easily 5 min exposures with broadband/osc shots or 20 min with narrowband filters) an aditional autoguider is mandatory once you venture above half a meter of focal length. The camera must be able to control the dark current noise and cooled solutions are preffered. Amp Glow is the bain of dynamic range and the sensors must be better shielded against unwanted, internal, IR light sources. You need dark skies for osc/broadband acquisition and can get away with. Processing-wise you first need a lot of long exposures that total in high integration time. Stacking is done differently than in lucky imaging were discarding bad frames and dewarping the good ones is key. Here you need very good outlier rejection on a pixel basis and good weighting of the frames in order to keep the precision as high as possible.

        Landscape AP and richfield AP are only a small part of what astrophotography can show.

        If you want to get a better overview just take a look at Nasa’s https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/astropix.html or the amateur equivalent of https://www.aapod2.com

        https://www.astrobin.com is the biggest sharing community in this field and also curates daily picks.

        1. grumpyfin Avatar
          grumpyfin

          First, thank you for taking the time to post an extremely informative reply/post. I have attempted a number of deepsky captures of the Orion Nebula and Andromeda Galaxy and they are so crappy I would never share them. It is the detail in your reply that things like Instagram exist, because it allows everyone to get a trophy with little to no effort and also why landscape images that include the Milky-way are now considered astrophotography.

          1. Ben Olry Avatar
            Ben Olry

            Don’t get me wrong. I do not want to take away any inch from the dedication of landscape astrophotographers. They need to invest much more money and time into the journey of getting to these places. I just wanted to point out, that showing 12 landscape astrophotographers and giving the impression that this is the end of the story falls a bit short. But hey, Headlines on photography sites are always pretty … dumbed down.

    2. markseibold Avatar
      markseibold

      I agree, as there’s a big misunderstanding about astrophotography. It seems to have to include all these young people today that take the same Milky Way shots with a wide-angle lens over some familiar landscape.
      Like everything else, it’s become so oversaturated in the web that I think it will soon lose the novelty.
      I’ve been playing with astrophotography since I was in my mid teens in the late 1960s when I strapped my parents Kodak box camera to the top of my first telescope that I bought with my berry picking money. I’ve won maybe one astrophotography contest but it wasn’t what they’re doing today with digital cameras as mine was produced with film and a 35 mm camera in the Oregon desert of star trails turning as the circumpolar constellations around Polaris over a deadwood ponderosa pine tree that was accidentally lit with red light by an unbeknownst bystander during my 45 minute time exposure.
      I produced the photo for four years in a row of the Oregon Star Party you can see all these in my Facebook site. I’ve got over 200 albums so take your time.
      My more recent accomplishment was photographing the Milky Way in a large panorama photo stitch of up to 100 separate photographic frames over Haystack Rock at Cannon Beach Oregon in the summer of 2019. I drove from my hometown of Portland Oregon possibly over 60 times that summer just to get the best night of scene conditions as so many times the fog rolled in and inhibited the Milky Way light toward the midnight hours.
      Feel free to peruse through all of my Facebook albums, as it’s all open to the public

  2. Levi Avatar
    Levi

    I see others have acknowledged while these are beautiful creations indeed they are more landscape art than astrophotography. The camera is used more as a tool or brush if you will to create a beautiful composite image.

  3. d3nv3rp0st Avatar
    d3nv3rp0st

    Thanks for the great examples of night sky photography.

  4. Amith Rajpal Avatar
    Amith Rajpal

    Isn’t this called nightscape photography? I am an amateur astrophotographer and can say that this is easy in comparison. Maybe change the title to something not misleading

  5. Jeff Gaumer Avatar
    Jeff Gaumer

    Check out Kevin Roylance, based in Moses Lake, Washington State, US. He’s a master.

  6. Michael O'Brien Avatar
    Michael O’Brien

    These are definitely night scapes and not astrophotography this is so misleading

  7. Mateo Avatar
    Mateo

    Where are the women photographers at in this article? Take a look at @missjessbess.

  8. ImdaPrincesse ™/MsWonderFall Avatar
    ImdaPrincesse ™/MsWonderFall

    These are beautiful photos.. I’m so jealous of people who have these amazing abilities and have seen the Northern Lights.

  9. Ann Elizabeth Avatar
    Ann Elizabeth

    Some nice nightscapes and composites here but I don’t see any ‘true’ Astrophotography in these shots. I am curious to check out the names other commenters have suggested here. I will add my own suggestions: Kerry-Ann Lecky Hepburn for true Astro and Nightscapes as well as Yuri Beletsky for non-composite Nightscapes. Both are incredible photographers on so many levels. Enjoy!