Magnificent Milky Way Photography Made Easy(ish).

Dec 31, 2014

Liron Samuels

Liron Samuels is a wildlife and commercial photographer based in Israel. When he isn’t waking up at 4am to take photos of nature, he stays awake until 4am taking photos of the night skies or time lapses. You can see more of his work on his website or follow him on Facebook.

Magnificent Milky Way Photography Made Easy(ish).

Dec 31, 2014

Liron Samuels

Liron Samuels is a wildlife and commercial photographer based in Israel. When he isn’t waking up at 4am to take photos of nature, he stays awake until 4am taking photos of the night skies or time lapses. You can see more of his work on his website or follow him on Facebook.

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PhotoPills

Have you ever found yourself lifting your jaw off the keyboard, completely stunned by an out-of-this-world photo of the Milky Way?

This is one of those subjects were you can either get an “Eh” shot that will accumulate a few likes on social media websites, or you can create a potentially viral piece of art that will make E.T. wish he had stayed on Earth simply to enjoy the view.

More often than not, the difference seems to boil down to planning and hard work rather than equipment. This is not to say that equipment isn’t important, but we’ve already seen what a pro can do with even the cheapest gear.

A new and exceedingly comprehensive tutorial called “How To Shoot Truly Contagious Milky Way Pictures” will significantly help with your planning and cut back on wasted nights outdoors.

There are plenty of incredibly helpful tutorials out there, including those of Mark Gee, Dave Morrow and Phil Hart, that will help you learn the technical aspect of astrophotography and plan your shoot. Another powerful addition to any astrophotographer’s toolbox is PhotoPills, along with their own tutorials, but while each tutorial is great, neither one felt complete.

Antoni Cladera from PhotoPills solved this with an extensive astrophotography tutorial combined with in-depth info regarding the use of PhotoPills conveniently inserted at the relevant stages of the planning and shooting process.

Covering everything from composition to location considerations, equipment selection, inspiration and post processing, this article contains enough useful knowledge to make it a must-read. However, it is the integrated tutorials explaining PhotoPills’ 2D Milky Way Planner and Night Augmented Reality that make this my number one resource on the matter.

With some highly capable cameras available today at reasonable prices and the ability to rent any equipment necessary, the playing field has been leveled as far as gear and knowledge are concerned. Now all that stands between you and your next favorite photo is a bit of planning and a night outdoors.

[via Reddit]

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Liron Samuels

Liron Samuels

Liron Samuels is a wildlife and commercial photographer based in Israel. When he isn’t waking up at 4am to take photos of nature, he stays awake until 4am taking photos of the night skies or time lapses. You can see more of his work on his website or follow him on Facebook.

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8 responses to “Magnificent Milky Way Photography Made Easy(ish).”

  1. Ralph Hightower Avatar
    Ralph Hightower

    Darn it! There’s no Android version for PhotoPills!

    1. bozs13 Avatar
      bozs13

      In the same boat. They’re working on it but don’t have a release date yet.

  2. Alan Alain Avatar
    Alan Alain

    This is all very nice, but to really help people learn, shouldn’t you start by giving all the info on the bait pic shown with your article, like what camera was used, what lens and all the Exif data that of course were erased. Not a word on that picture, nothing about the editing, the composite blending that was done, exposure time, if a tracker was used, and so many more info. that would really help. Little sad, cause for the rest about everyone in 5 minutes can learn how to take milky way, that’s easy, there is a Gazillion Youtube vids for that, but very little that show us a full process from A to Z with such an image. If you submit such an image to attract people into reading your article, the least that should be done is to show how this picture was taken, because trust me, there is more there than a single 20 or 30 Sec. exposure on tripod at high Iso. with a point and shot. This probably wasn’t taken with a very cheap camera or lens. It could be, but yet this hasn’t been done with a point and shot or with the cheapest gear. Plus, aside of the decent Photopill article that at least there shows some Capture data (on one pic only), the link to your “Pro” take with cheap camera link is on day portrait and not whatsoever on night photography, which many know would suffer unmanageable noise with a phone or cheap point and shot (sure, you could stack forever, but isn’t this article supposed to attract beginners ?.. Also for who don’t know, a picture like the one shown is not a five minutes edit with your phone app.. So for the average, it’s nice to dream seeing such a pic, but it would be nicer to give the feel one can achieve these dreams by really showing all that has been involved from the start to achieve such a picture.You’re gone find me moody, but at the same time I say true…

    1. Kaouthia Avatar
      Kaouthia

      Lockdown getting to you so bad you have to troll a six-year-old post that was created to link to an article that describes exactly what you’re criticising it for lacking?

      1. Alan Alain Avatar
        Alan Alain

        Come on man, you may disagree all you want, I own Photopill myself and love the app., but what I say is just true, and I’m gone add some for you. First of all when I see your reaction, it’s like almost darn dictatorship. We are at the point where no one can criticize anything anymore. Everything is supposed to be perfect because it’s online and no one can ever say nothing ? May be you are that kind (or may be not since you’re on me). But anyway, to always accept everything and never say nothing or put a remark is not right either. Like those people accepting an almost cold dish in restaurant and not saying anything, leading to the next customer getting a cold dish too since no one cared to mention or complain in the first place. I’ve been leaving here long enough to see it with my eyes. So sorry, yes, sometime one should rant little if something is too misleading, or in some other situation, obviously not right, like what I mention on cold dish. And here I’m not saying anything bad, I’m just warning beginners that in order to get a picture like the one that is shown with the associated title is seriously misleading, period. I don’t care if it gives a link on the page to a more technical overview. I still think that on this page the image shown is directly associated with the given title, further suggesting that any cheap camera could do do anything if handled by a Pro. Seriously ? Have you ever noticed what cameras and lenses were used on stunning milky way pictures you find online ? I’t’s rarely with a simple point and shot that has no manual mode. So yes, the way this page is put together is kind of misleading if you don’t know nothing the subject, making think that anyone having a camera can get a picture like that with a little planing (or renting some gear… Seriously ? It ain’t cheap to rent gear, do you know the prices, go look, you can buy a cheap point and shot with the price of a day rental of a good camera and lens like a D850 or A7III / RIII or IV). So at the end all I say, is that if you don’t know nothing and read this page, that’s it, in your mind you think that you can get a picture as shown with very little prep. and subpar gear. But the truth is, not really, and I would have found it so much more interesting to honestly break down how a picture like the one shown was done and processed rather than giving the feel that anyone can achieve such results easily. Come on man, you cannot show a high end MW composite and imply it’s easy to get as the article mentions. It would have interesting though, for people eager to learn or know more to give more technical details about the picture shown. Otherwise you know what, even with the best intentions, it still reminds me of those telescope manufacturers showing you pro Astro pics of Jupiter or Saturn on the box, leading the buyer to think that it is what he will get once looking through it. So yes, nice picture, more detailed article in the given links, but yet, an approach that suggest that you could get a pic like the one shown with very basic knowledge and tools when it’s plain and simply not, and again, I would have found it much more enriching to give more specific detail on this awesome pic, disregarding of how easy or difficult it was to get, than kind of fooling you little in what I explain above. It would just be so much more valuable for readers, that’s what I regret here, but otherwise it’s a nice page with useful links (no, not the one on what pro can do with cheap camera, I didn’t see any night sky taken by them there, so it’s seriously irrelevant, we all know in daylight a cell phone can pull some serious images, but night stuff is another game).

        1. Kaouthia Avatar
          Kaouthia

          “First of all when I see your reaction, it’s like almost darn dictatorship. We are at the point where no one can criticize anything or make remarks anymore.”

          All I did was criticise your comment. So, you’re saying it’s impossible to do the thing that I did? I stopped reading at this point.

          Best of luck to you.

          1. Alan Alain Avatar
            Alan Alain

            Yet, I amend later. May be you should have read… And may be I didn’t formulate that good with my English, but what I meant is that I often see that if one emit a light critic on things, they’re often jumped on for the criticizing side but rarely for the truth of the critic itself, which appreciated or not, can also reveal some valid points. But anyway, as I said in what you haven’t read, it was my own mistake due to a language misunderstanding that I’ve been ranting little on the post tittle. Nothing disrespectful or anything though, I just wished that the author had put more on this page that may be what he did, and I explain why (ok, may be ranting little too much along way, I admit)

          2. Alan Alain Avatar
            Alan Alain

            You were right, I was ranting little too much, so I got rid of it all. Anyway, right or wrong, I still think that if you do a page like this and put one picture and only one picture on it, the minimum effort author could do is to be able to give basic Exif for the picture in example.