Thanks to technological improvements in digital photography, both professionals and amateurs are capable of shooting the stars without specialized equipment or software. Astroscapes, images with foreground landscape elements along with the night sky above, have surged in popularity. With the right equipment, one can capture stunning images of the night sky.
CAMERA AND LENSES REQUIRED FOR ASTROSCAPES
The first necessary item one will need for astroscape photography is, of course, a camera capable of shooting the images. A DSLR or mirrorless camera will be capable of shooting in RAW and will also have the capability to be set to a long exposure. The ability to set a timer, customize the focus mode, and configure the white balance are needed as well. Photographers would want to be especially familiar with these settings and how to set up their cameras for low-light photography.
One who wishes to photograph astroscapes will also need a proper lens to capture the image. A 24mm lens or wider, with an aperture of at least f/4, will provide the best results for astroscape images.
CAMERA ACCESSORIES NEEDED FOR ASTROSCAPES
Shooting astroscapes will require the use of a sturdy, quality tripod. A good tripod will ensure that the camera remains perfectly still for the long exposures that are required. A remote trigger allows the photographer to manually control the shutter without shaking the setup with an on-camera button press. A filter designed to cut light pollution will also provide a cleaner image to work with in post. Because astroscape photography is often performed in remote areas, extra batteries and memory cards can prove very useful.
OTHER RESOURCES FOR ASTROSCAPE PHOTOGRAPHY
One item a photographer shouldn’t forget is a light source. A headlamp proves to be a better option than a flashlight. Using a headlamp allows a photographer to safely find a location and set up his or her equipment.
Finding the locations to shoot astroscapes can be especially challenging. A mobile planetarium or sky-tracking app can assist in planning for the nighttime shoot. The app can display the locations of constellations. A weather app that specializes in the clear sky forecast can help avoid a wasted trip and keep the photographer safe when shooting at night.
Being prepared with these resources will ensure the modern photographer has all that is needed to shoot an astroscape that is out of this world.