Plan your night so that you may take full advantage of each moon cycle before you go out to capture an incredible astro picture session. Despite its frightening nature, astronomical night photography can be a rewarding and instructional kind of photography with a little bit of understanding. The night photography advice shown below will significantly enhance your night lapse pictures.
Astro Photography Tools Needed
- Camera with manual mode (M)
- Shoot in RAW image format
- Shoot in manual mode
- Use Manual Focus
- Use an aperture between F/2.8 – F/4
- Set your white balance setting to daylight
- Set your exposure length to 15 – 30-seconds
- Shoot with an ISO between 400 – 1600
Set intervalometer to capture photo every (X+2) seconds allow extra time for shutter to recycle before next exposure
Calculating the Moon Phase
The moon has been an important timekeeper and seasonal symbol from the beginning of time. When photographing the Milky Way and other galaxies, it is advisable to take the picture one to two days before or after a new moon to get the best effects. The light from even a little crescent moon is sufficient to dim the starry sky. The New Moon occurs every 29.53 days when there is no illumination from the sun on the whole surface of the moon. So, using the most recent moon cycle, you can roughly predict when the darkest evenings of the month will be.