Once you’ve arrived, here are some key considerations for capturing your astrophotos:
ISO: ISO refers to how light sensitive the film in your camera is. In modern digital cameras, it refers to the sensitivity of the sensor in the camera to light. Higher ISO settings will result in brighter images, but they will also increase the graininess of your images. For astrophotography, you want to keep the ISO as low as you can, while still enhancing the light sensitivity, in order to keep your images of the sky as crisp and clear as possible.
Shutter speed: Shutter speed determines how long the shutter on your camera is going to remain open and allow light to hit the film in your camera or its digital sensor. It’s measured in relation to seconds, so a fast shutter speed might be 1/1,000 of a second, while a slow speed might be one second. For night photography, you’re going to have to use a tripod, because you need to use really slow shutter speeds, and you don’t want your image to blur. Try exposures of 5, 8, or even 10 seconds, and examine your results to see what looks best.
Aperture: You’ll likely need to use a lower aperture setting (called an f-stop), because while higher f-stops will allow for an image with more depth of field, it will be difficult to get enough light for a good exposure. Because you’re not likely to be drawing attention to depth of field in photos of the stars, higher aperture settings will be the way to go (with exceptions of course).
Ultimately, the important thing is to keep an open mind, experiment, and see what you come up with, so you can see what equipment you need for future outings.
Ways to edit your astrophotography.
A huge part of the astrophotography process involves editing and tweaking images to produce their maximum color potential. You’ll have images that look washed out from light pollution or other factors. Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Lightroom give you the tools to make your images look crisp and clean.