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!
NASA/Sky published my Milky Way image captured with a Star tracker and a Canon 6D camera. NASA posts images on social networks and then chooses one to win an APOD astronomy picture of the day. Here’s my winning image, along with the explanation of how to make this type of silhouette Milky Way image. While the camera is just a Canon 6D, the Astro gear needed is not trivial.
With the Milky Way season already under way in Eastern Australia, we know there will be hundreds of photographers pointing their cameras at the night sky on those cloudless, moonless nights attempting to capture the magnificence of the Galactic Core.
With years of experience capturing the night sky, we have learned a great deal about setting up to capture some stunning images, but the one aspect to Astrophotography and Nightscaping we have learned is most important, and often most rewarding and enjoyable, is PLANNING.
To help you get ready to capture your own incredible Nightscape imagery, here are our Astrophotography top tips you might find helpful in planning your Astro shoots.
Planning is fundamental in many types of photography, and it plays a key role when you want to photograph the Milky Way.
To the contrary of what many people think, our galaxy is visible throughout the year, but the most interesting area to shoot, the galactic center, is only visible for a few months depending on your location.
To help you plan your Milky Way images, every year I create some calendars where you can quickly see the best days to photograph the Milky Way in your location.
Google introduced the astrophotography mode in its Pixel 4 phone launched last year. The same feature was added to Pixel 5 and 4a a year later. However, Google has quietly removed the feature from these phones’ ultra-wide camera. No one knows why, but the assumption is that it just performed poorly.
Photographing the Milky Way (and the night skies in general) is exciting and opens up a whole new world. But it’s also pretty tricky if you’re new to it. If you’d like to do it and you don’t know where to start, Steve Kazemir has just the video for you. He goes through all the basics of photographing the Milky Way, both for creating single images and a timelapse. So if you want to start somewhere, start by watching his video below.