You do not need a telescope to take beautiful and even dramatic photos of the stars and the night sky. You just need a camera and film. In this article I will give you tips and techniques to take great pictures of the night sky.
There are two basic types of star photos you can take. The first type is quick picture with an exposure of less than 30 seconds. This type of image shows stars and stationary. The second type of pictures you can take is a star trail picture. If you leave the camera shutter open for a long time the stars will form long songs in the film as they cross the sky. Both types are attractive and easy to do. In addition to simply take pictures of the sky you can add landscape features into the picture. This tends to make the picture very dramatic and particularly attractive.
tools you need
- A camera that has the ability to move the shutter open for a long time. This feature is often called the bulb function. The camera should have either B or T setting. This can be difficult to find a new digital cameras
- A roll of high speed film – 800 speed film is good but if you do not have easy access to this picture the 400 speed film will work quite well
- A camera tripod or some other way to keep the camera very still
- A baseball cap or a piece of heavy dark cloth
How to take pictures
- Before you go to load the film into the camera and take a picture inside. This sets the film properly so that developers can see the frame
- Bring all equipment outdoors for at least half an hour before you plan to take pictures. This makes the optics of the camera to adjust the temperature and humidity differences
- Add Camera in tripod
- Hold baseball cap or a piece of dark cloth over the camera lens without touching the camera
- Turn the shutter button so shutter opens
- The camera is now live and the image is ready to be exposed
- Take a hat or cloth and this begins the exposure
- Count of how long you want exposure to be – a good place to start would be with ten other exposure
- Add a hat or cloth so that the lens is again locked
- Close the shutter by releasing the shutter button
There is a whole process of taking the night sky picture. We use a baseball hat activating the shutter will cause vibration of the camera that could distort the delicate picture you are taking. Just exercise your push button or a motion shutter motions can be enough to destroy the image and take off pinpoint sharpness stars.
You may be wondering how to keep the shutter open without holding the button down. You can use one of several different solutions. The first solution is something called a shutter cable out. This is a cable that connects the shutter button on the camera. (Newer cameras might not have this option) You press the button on the end of the cable, and then lock it in shutter open position. Another solution is to use a rubber band or some other type of installation to actually hold the shutter button down. I have used a rubber band successfully on basic 35mm camera.
the exposure length
You should take your laptop with you and keep track of the exposure time for each image you click. This way you can judge the exposure worked best and when you try again on another night your photos will be added. Remember to start out by taking a picture of household object so that the first image of the frame will be set for the developer. Then take the night sky photos with different time intervals starting at 5 seconds. Then develop a 30-second shots and 1 minute shots.
depends on what part of the sky you are taking pictures of when you get in 30 seconds the stars will start to go hiking in the picture. You can take risks in a few hours to get very long and attractive star trails. At least 20 minutes will leave detectable and attractive trail.
Improving star formation
To get the best pictures to try to get the darkest skies possible. Light pollution from houses, street lights and other sources, the city can wash out the image. You can also add earth bound objects in the picture. Silhouettes of buildings trees or other land-based parts under the starry sky can make a very attractive picture. If you are close to the object you want in the movie, but it’s too dark, you can even shine a flashlight on it while the movie is a must. This will illuminate the object with a soft glow but not ruin the movie.
When bringing the film developer to ensure that you tell them that you have taken night time star photos and all the pictures should be developed and printed. As mentioned, you should make a note of this on the envelope you put the image. It will prevent the developer thinking none of the pictures came out and not making any prints.
Astro Photography is the art of taking pictures of the night sky objects and there are lots of opportunities for you to experiment in this art without a telescope. All you need is a simple 35mm camera, some high speed film and a few hours under the Dark Skies.