Here are seven tips to help you take galaxy photos.
1. Freshly Charged Batteries
Taking multiple long exposure shots, especially if you have live view on, will drain your battery power fast. Be sure to also have a spare set, just in case you run out of juice in the first set.
2. Manual Mode
Manual mode is not scary. I promise.
The quick settings I start with for night shots are f-stop as low as the number goes, exposure length of about 20 seconds, and ISO of 3200. If the exposure length is longer than 25 seconds you start to get small star trails. I think it’s pretty cool that in such a short amount of time, the camera can capture the movement.
3. Infinite Focus
Infinite focus is a setting on your focus ring that makes everything in focus whether it is close to the camera or far away like to stars. To set your camera to infinite focus, you need it in manual focus versus automatic focus. This is usually a setting to adjust on the lens.
No matter how still you think you can hold your camera, it will not be still enough to get crisp stars in your shot. Invest in a tripod if you are serious about taking star photos.
For those of you unsure of what tripod you might want to get, I use this tripod for all my long exposure shots.
5. Shutter Remote or Timer
For the longest time, I didn’t have a shutter remote and I didn’t know how to use the timer on my camera. Finally, I asked how it all worked in class. Now my favorite way to snap a photo is to use my remote.
6. RAW Photos
Throughout my years in photo class, I stubbornly would shoot all my photos in JPEG. It wasn’t until I couldn’t print my photos large enough for my senior project that I recognized the benefit of RAW files.
JPEG files are condensed and a lot of the information that your camera gathers while taking the shot is discarded. RAW files save all the info from taking the shot.
For every 20 second image I shoot, it takes another 20 seconds for the camera to process the data gathered. If you choose to leave your shutter open for a half hour, for example, it will take about another 30 minutes to process the info for that photo. To process that single image will take approximately one hour.