1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Best Way to capture stars?

Discussion in 'Photography & Video' started by Phate, 22 Nov 2006.

  1. Phate


    Joined: 1 Nov 2003

    Posts: 35,684

    Location: Lisbon, Portugal

    Hi People,

    To me stars....they are just a thing of beauty, and it's been known for me to literally stare at them for hours. Now i've got a 350D with a kit lens and a 55-200 Canon Lens, Also have a tripod.

    I haven't tried anything yet as i've been waiting for a clear night to do it, but I'd like to know what the best way to capture stars would be.

    I thought of finding a nearby field with camera on tripod and pointing directly upwards with ISO100 for say a 15second exposure? so you don't get the trails of them, which admittendly look cool with the right picture.

    But I'm just going to be looking to capture just a still star filled moment, and maybe pictures of the different formations like Orion etc.

    Am I on the right track for achieving this? I can't see it being to difficult.

    Many Thanks
  2. ChroniC


    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 9,422

    You could try, but i dont think you would get what your expecting, i think they would be to small to make a good picture.
    You would need a better zoom for that, plus you would need to be somewhere with absolutely no ambient light, from street lamps or towns.

    Im no pro at stars though so trial and error helps you learn.
  3. Fusion


    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 10,585

    Location: Notts

    A problem is that the greater zoom you use, the more magnified the blurring effect, and the shorter shutter speed you are able to get away with. Finding the pole star, Polaris, and pointing your camera there will allow you to use longer exposures as the apparent rotation of star fields is less near here.

    Unfortunately the Pole region isn't amazing brilliant for prominent constellations or bright stars, so your photos won't be as exciting.
  4. xolotl

    Man of Honour

    Joined: 9 Nov 2004

    Posts: 2,141

    All the really exceptional star photos I have seen have used massive exposures. Something along the lines of an hour with the camera centered on the north star. A brilliant effect but you need a remote release at patience to do it.
  5. Marik


    Joined: 9 Nov 2005

    Posts: 102

    I'd suggest a really really really big net
  6. Jotun


    Joined: 11 Jun 2005

    Posts: 3,606

    Location: Liverpool

    If you look at a recent thread started by Helium_Junkie that shows how the sky turned out at 30s, F3.5 ISO100, and there is no noticeable start trails, so you might want to try a 30s exposure.
  7. Simonnn


    Joined: 16 Jul 2006

    Posts: 463

    Location: Birmingham/oxford

    As said I think it also helps where you are, If I tried this back home near Birmingham I don't think I'd have much luck with all the light pollution. But where my girlfriend lives in Wales the sky is amazing at night.
  8. Colin_da_Killer


    Joined: 11 Dec 2003

    Posts: 1,590

    Location: Helensburgh, Scotland


    Seems you got good enough equipment for the job. Just like everyone else said, you need to go somewhere quite secluded in regards to towns (lights) so as to get a good veiw of stars.
  9. Johnny|lucidcomposure


    Joined: 5 Nov 2004

    Posts: 9,303

    If your well known to stare at them for hours then just try as many variations of settings you can think of. Personally I would try and compose somewhere that interests you and photoshop in the stars in (if they are static) Plus if your camera is facing straight up then I cant see the image being much to shout about. Stars really are best captured as large rotations
  10. Amp34


    Joined: 25 Jul 2005

    Posts: 28,867

    Location: Canada

    You know that has taken me over 3 hours to get. :o

    So :D
  11. Fusion


    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 10,585

    Location: Notts

    Another issue with longer exposures unless you have really dark skies, is that the background will carry a heavy orange/red hue from light pollution. You can of course tinker about in Photoshop to remove it, but ultimately noise remains.