Find the best camera settings for astrophotography.
Learn how to capture the stars using the right DSLR camera settings and a versatile photo editing software.
Shooting the stars can be tricky. Without the right camera settings, your pictures won’t look like much more than a black square. Here’s how to set up your DSLR to capture beautiful images of the night sky.
Setting your camera for long exposures.
Astrophotography is all about capturing the faintest amount of light. To make sure every star and planet is captured clearly, you’ll need to put the correct camera settings in place:
- Choose a low aperture between f/2.8 and f/4
- Use manual focus
- Set white balance to “auto” or “daylight”
- Set exposure length between 15 and 30 seconds
- Select a high ISO between 400 and 1600 (or more)
During long exposures, even the slightest movement can ruin your photo. To photograph the stars in all their clarity, it’s important to stabilize your camera for minimal movement interference.
Always use a steady tripod to hold your camera during the entire exposure. That will eliminate any movement during the picture. It also helps to use the camera’s delay or a remote when you shoot. That way, you won’t have to press the button and risk moving the camera.
Process astrophotography images with a photo editor.
Setting a high ISO will introduce a lot of noise into the image and make it look grainy. Unfortunately, there’s nothing you can do about that with your camera alone, but if you use a versatile photo editing software, you’ll find the right fix.
After you take a few long exposure shots, import them into Photoshop and stack your photos to reduce noise and increase focus. This is how most astrophotographers create awe-inspiring shots of the universe. If you’re just beginning with astrophotography and looking for an even easier way to solve this problem, Adobe Photoshop Lightroom offers a simple slider solution that makes photos look amazing.
Explore what more you can do with Lightroom to capture the cosmos.