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.
We reviewed the Samyang 18mm FE in February, but that was too late for the milky way season. From the middle of August, it is sufficiently dark in southern parts of Norway to shoot the stars. We have a rather modest window every month where the moon doesn’t wash out the stars. During that time we need to get lucky with clouds.
I have been out with the Samyang 18mm FE for three evenings this fall. The small and lightweight lens hasn’t disappointed. On the contrary.
The Samyang is sharp wide open, vignetting is well controlled and the stars look very decent at close inspection. Let’s have a closer look at a few images; please remember that high iso is not optimal for details and sharpness. All images below were shot with the Sony a7r III.
Milky Way is such an inspiring subject for everyone who enjoys shooting the night sky. Travel photography blog Capture the Atlas has published their annual selection of the best 25 Milky Way images. And oh boy, are they inspiring! We bring you some of them below, and I’m sure you’ll enjoy them just like I did.
In this article, I will share how I shot a Milky Way panorama, and how I later stitched the images in Lightroom. But, first some background.
Last summer we spent our vacation in Tuscany, Italy. Spending almost a week on a wine farm in Italy didn’t create any standing ovations initially. Then it struck me that the Milky Way season had just started in southern Europe. Once this was established, I started envisioning how cool it would be to shoot the Milky Way core, and perhaps even a few panoramas. My only concern was light pollution. Would it be possible to capture what I envisioned at the location we stayed at, or would I have to spend hours in a car to find a decent spot?
It turned out that this small wine farm where we stayed, just outside Castellina in Chianti, was perfect. On our second evening, I headed out when it was dark enough for night photography.