Two years after I received my first camera, I decided it was time to learn how to capture the night sky. One evening in December, I headed out with a headlamp, my trusted Canon 6D, a wide-angle lens, and a tripod. To make a long story short, I returned home with nothing I could use. My compositions were off; every shot was under-exposed and out of focus. Talk about a steep learning curve!
The next time I headed out, I had learned a few things: Check the histogram after each shot; it is wise to shoot exposures at a few seconds with maximum iso to nail the comp. When I had a composition I could live with, I changed the settings to something more ‘normal.’ During the daytime, I had found out where the lens had its optimal setting for having most of the scene in proper focus. I also learned that using autofocus in the dark yields a terribly frustrating experience.