Scientists recently captured a starry sky image that will make you gasp in awe. Using Dark Energy Camera in, The National Science Foundation’s National Optical-Infrared Astronomy Research Laboratory (NOIRLab) released a survey of only a portion of Milky Way, and it shows billions of stars and other celestial objects in staggering detail. It’s not only awe-inspiring and strikingly gorgeous, but it’s the largest star catalog of our home galaxy that’s ever been recorded so far.
Ever wanted to know what photography gear is the best for capturing stunning images of the Milky Way and our night skies? Well, look no further. This list may not be the best gear for everyone, but after spending the last five years doing this professionally, this is the gear that works best for me.
So what camera and lenses do I use, and what additional gear for my imaging?
When you move away from the city’s light pollution, a whole new world is waiting to be photographed. One of the most popular subjects is certainly our galaxy, and as far as I’m concerned, its sight will never cease to amaze me.
So, I was thrilled to learn that the travel photography blog Capture the Atlas ran another competition for the best Milky Way photo of the year. The results have just been published, and it seems that the top images get better and better every year. Dan Zafra of Capture the Atlas shared some of the winning photos with us, so let us feast our eyes together on these fantastic images.
It’s that time of year again when the evenings are starting to feel a little warmer and the idea of sitting outside all night is a little more attractive than it was in the freezing cold dead of winter. So you know what that means? Milky Way photos. In this video, astrophotographer Alyn Wallace goes over seven tips to help us improve our Milky Way photography and get the absolute best shots that we can.
The first tip is the biggest and the one that catches the most people out and that’s to find the darkest skies you can. Much of the populated world is heavily polluted by light from surrounding towns and cities and you’ll need to get as far away from those as you possibly can if you want to have a chance of getting the best shots.
The Canadian Rockies have always offered breathtaking sights, but take this dramatic mountain setting and pair it with a rare comet that won’t be visible for another 6,800 years and you’ve got the recipe for an awe-inspiring photo opportunity – one that photographers only dream of.
For an Australian mechanical engineer turned award-winning travel and landscape photographer, this dream became a reality in July 2020.
Sometimes, the best things happen when we don’t plan them at all. It goes for many things in life, and photos are no exception. Michael Shainblum recently had to change his shooting plans and it led him to seeing the Milky Way above the Golden Gate Bridge bathing in fog. He was certain it would be impossible to capture the scene, but he gave it a shot – and he nailed it! Michael shared his adventure in his recent video, along with some gorgeous photos he took, which he also kindly shared with DIYP.
The first thing I always say to the participants of my workshops is to always spend enough time in preparation. I strongly believe that in order to make a good photo, no matter the genre, you have to be prepared as best as you can.
Preparation for astrophotography, at least for me, means not only finding the “ideal” location, checking the weather conditions, setting the gear, etc, but most importantly, to envision the image you want to make before even leaving your home. How the elements will be arranged and set on the frame. In astrophotography, as we are mostly working on difficult, dark conditions, it is not ideal to start searching for possible points of interest and framing scenarios during the night.
This is why my all-time favorite tools when envisioning a photo or an even bigger project are these: a pencil and a notebook.
The Milky Way season is in full swing, and we’re slowly coming back to normal and traveling again in order to take photos. So, shall we celebrate with a set of stunning Milky Way photos? Wait, don’t answer that – of course we shall!
Capture the Atlas has selected the top ten images of the Milky Way taken all over the world. If you are planning an astrophotography trip soon, these will kickstart your inspiration. But even if you are staying home, you’ll still enjoy these photos and their otherworldly beauty.
I’ve seen my fair share of stellar Milky Way images over the last couple of years. But Finnish visual artist and astrophotographer J-P Metsavainio has raised the bar. He created a high-resolution gigapixel class mosaic image of the Milky Way that took nearly twelve years to create. He used around 1250 hours of exposure between 2009 and 2021 to create enough data for this photo. And although it was extremely labor-intensive, it was well worth it!
So first a little bit about myself. I mean who would take advice from some random stranger on the internets. I am Dan Stein, I have been taking pics of the stars for over 8 years meow, and I love talking about astrophotography and helping others when it comes to their own star shots. I took my first nightscape back in college, and now I travel and take pics away from light pollution in my free time. This is my first time posting a guide here, so I hope you all enjoy!