PetaPixel

How to Photograph the Night Sky

Photographer Ben Canales created this great video tutorial teaching the basics of shooting the night sky. He goes over how to shoot quick test shots to set up your composition before discussing more in-depth tips and tricks for capturing the final shot, including the “Rule of 600″:

[...] the quickest way to determine the longest exposure that is possible for any given focal length lens, without the stars streaking, is to divide that focal length into 600. (This is the formula for 35mm. Larger formats are laxer, smaller formats more unforgiving). [#]

For example, with a 50mm lens on a full frame camera, you can only expose for 12 seconds (600/50=12) before the stars turn into star trails. It’s a good rule of thumb to keep in mind!

(via Fstoppers)


 
 
  • Xpirex

    Great info, nice and simple, thanks for sharing Ben. :))

  • Anonymous

    Thanks Ben, nice bit of information there. Lucky to because I’m starting a project that requires Long Exposures.

  • Bryan Hanna

    Brilliant tutorial, thanks a million!
    Just wondering for a cropped sensor do I multiply the focal length by the crop factor first?
    Eg on the 550D would it be 50mm*1.6=80   600/80=7.5 seconds?

  • http://www.cbrownphoto.com Cindy

    Great info, Ben. Love the photos with the Milky Way. I live close to Atlanta, so I’ll have to wait for a trip to the boonies to try out the rule of 600.

  • Flavio Lamenza

    But with such a high iso, aren’t the pictures gonna stay with lots of noise?

  • Flavio Lamenza

    But with such a high iso, aren’t the pictures gonna stay with lots of noise?

  • Flavio Lamenza

    But with such a high iso, aren’t the pictures gonna stay with lots of noise?

  • Flavio Lamenza

    Oh, sorry, i forgot to say: excelent video! great help!

  • Flavio Lamenza

    Oh, sorry, i forgot to say: excelent video! great help!

  • ColleenEasley

    Looking forward to doing this in the summer – when it’s warmer!  But loved your mountain pics.  

  • http://www.the-dslr-photographer.com Chio

    Totally epic! The best night star video I’ve ever seen.

  • http://www.the-dslr-photographer.com Chio

    Yes, you are correct. The crop factor still applies here.

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  • Jack Hoo

    thanks!

  • konstantin traev

    Great tutorial and video, man! Respect:) Keep going!

  • http://patrikpettersson.se Patrik Pettersson

    Thanks! Great tutorial!

  • ja

    in a totally platonic way… I LOVE YOU :D

  • ja

    in a totally platonic way… I LOVE YOU :D

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  • Jayne

    Thank you so much for this great video tutorial – its really cold here in the UK at the moment but tonight I’m off to give it a go – thanks again!

  • http://twitter.com/denyngrat Deny Sutrisno

    how if I don’t you fix lense? are the maths still same?

    for example I use Nikon D5000 + 18-55mm and I set the lens at 50mm. Is it the same count with fix 50mm lens (7.5 seconds)?

  • Mario

    thank you for this! you are an inspiration ..the universe is beautiful! cant wait to go to Joshua tree this weekend!

  • http://www.facebook.com/mohamed.m.dessouky Mohamed Mahmoud El Dessouky

    amazingly informative ! thank you :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/mohamed.m.dessouky Mohamed Mahmoud El Dessouky

    i will be trying this with and 18-55mm on a Nikon D3100 !

  • Jason

    I just bought a Nikon 3200 is it possible to take start photos with the kit lenses? or do I need to upgrade

  • Jason

    Nice video! I just bought a Nikon 3200 with 2 kit lenses is it possible to do this with the lenses that i have or do I need to upgrade

  • http://www.facebook.com/claude.camacho Claude G. Camacho

    You use a 10 second delay to prevent shutter when taking a long exposure. Would not a wire remote be just as good?

  • Kishore

    Puts everything into perspective. Learned a lot through this video – thanks so much for putting this together!

  • Adam

    Enjoyed this very much :)

  • Flávio André

    the best tutorial I’ve found!!!! tks a lot!

  • Crystal

    Planning for the Perseid Meteor Shower tonight. This is some great info. Thanks!