ACC Night Sky Photography Tips

Here's some tips for photographing the night sky and star trails. They are arranged in no particular order. If you've got more we can add, please contact the webmaster.

Night/star photography

  • Photographing sky, manual focus on 'infinity' mark. Beware that focus ring will go past this point (so don't just turn it to the end-stop).
  • ISO400 to go faster and keep noise down. May be ok higher with full frame.
  • For no star movement you need to be quick so use higher ISO, eg. 3200.
  • Tungsten white balance.
  • Star trails: 30 secs/image, 1.5 hrs for circle effect.
  • Tape over viewfinder to block light leaking from back.
  • Use software from (PC), Stacker (Photoshop script) or StarStax (recommended, and available on PC, Linux or Mac).
  • If lit building, put in as first or last frame.
  • Good places locally: Tretower (get Polaris over tower), Llantony Priory.
  • You might get lines cutting across. These are jet trails or shooting stars.

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