How to Capture The Milky Way

Have you ever really tried to photograph the Milky Method with your DSLR camera? It’s no secret that your camera can record much more light than our eyes can see.

The ability of contemporary cameras to produce spectacular pictures of the Milky Way galaxy has got resulted in a boom in amateur DSLR astrophotography.

By combining dark skies plus some basic photo processing in Photoshop, you can create a beautiful portrait of our residence galaxy in the night time sky.

For me personally, the most enjoyable part about these images is seeing the individual nebulae and star clusters through the entire galaxy. The Lagoon Nebula, Trifid Nebula and even more can all be observed in glowing pink in Sagittarius.

Where to find it?

It might sound like a silly question, seeing as our very own Solar System is situated inside of the Milky Way galaxy. However, certain specific areas of the Milky Method spiral are concentrated in the night time sky at times of the entire year. The galactic key may be the most interesting area of the galactic plane, and what most photographers are wishing to capture.

The galactic core may be the most concentrated area of stars in the galactic plane, and what most photographers are hoping to fully capture. Knowing where and when to look will assist you to system your photo session.

I use an app for my Android smartphone called Stellarium, that will tell you accurately where everything in the night time sky will be on any provided night. Stellarium is a handy mobile planetarium that’s simple to use. Whether you’ve planned a Milky Approach shot or a deep-sky imaging task, this app can save you time and frustration.

I just regularly use Stellarium about my PC to approach an imaging session, but getting the iphone app on my phone all the time is a real life-saver.

Astrophotography Tips

For images of the night sky, the preview you see on your own camera’s display is merely beginning. The real colour and beauty of the photography are yet to end up being brought forth.

If you are lucky enough to visit a location on Earth with an unspoiled view of the Milky Way, the next thing is to capture this perspective and share it with others. However, without the sufficient knowledge about astrophotography, the odds of replicating this knowledge are slim.
I have had the enjoyment of basking in the glory of our home galaxy many times.

This is exactly what the Milky Way appears like from a relatively dark sky location in Southern Ontario, Canada. The green streaks at the bottom of the photograph are fireflies dance in the night.

For the photo above, the DSLR camera sat securely along with a carbon fibre tripod. The drive mode was set to a 2-second delay, in order to avoid any camera shake brought on when activating the shutter.

Listed below are the settings and apparatus used :

Camera Gear
Camera: Canon EOS 7D
Lens: Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L
Tripod: Newer Carbon Dietary fibre Tripod

Camera Settings
Focal Length: 17mm
Focus: Manual
White Balance: Auto
Aperture: f/4
ISO: 3200
Exposure Length: 30 Seconds

Capture the Milky Way

The fundamentals of capturing a night sky image connect with Milky Way photography. In general, you will probably use an extended exposure size and an increased ISO setting.

I’ve covered the facts of taking your primary astrophotography image using a DSLR surveillance camera and tripod before, and many of the same principals apply when capturing the main of our galaxy.

The largest difference occurs through the image processing stage, that i will cover below.

Essential steps to an excellent image:

  • Focus using live take on a bright celebrity at 10X magnification
  • Set your camera’s travel setting to a 2 or 10-second delay
  • Lock your DSLR camcorder securely into place on your tripod
  • Consider multiple exposures to stack and increase SNR

You can manually stack your images mutually using Photoshop, producing a smoother image with less noise. This is especially powerful when shooting Milky Approach photos by using a high ISO sensitivity.

Take a quantity of test photos to frame your picture an interesting way. Use the natural scenery around the sky to greatly help portray the sensation of actually staying under a starry sky.

Adobe Camera Raw

By capturing your photos in RAW format, crucial edits can be made to photograph through the post processing level. You never wish to shoot astrophotography pictures in JPEG format, when you are losing aspect in the image.

Because I shoot with a Canon DSLR camera, I take advantage of Adobe Camera Raw to pre-process my images coming into Photoshop.

Key areas to handle in ACR:

  • Adjust white balance - not as much brown, more blue
  • Apply noise reduction filtration system (modest)
  • Increase Saturation
  • Reduce chromatic aberration
  • Correct vignetting issues

The above list is a little sampling of the actions applied to the Milky Way images upon this page. For a really powerful photograph, try running alternative party action pieces on your image, including the Astronomy Tools Actions Set.

Many of the most effective actions using the package in the above list are make stars smaller and hometown contrast adjustment.

Happen to be a Dark Sky Location

This implies that you should plan your shot around the New Moon phase. Even a half-quarter moon creates plenty of light in the night sky to ruin your image. Having New Moon and very clear skies coincide with the other person can be a tall order.

This is among the reasons Milky Way photography could be so challenging.

Light pollution may completely wash apart the stunning structure of the Milky Way galaxy. For this reason, it is necessary that you leave the glow of metropolis behind, and happen to be a dark sky site.

A camping trip can offer a fantastic chance of night picture taking, as these areas usually are well away from the city. Use a planetarium program such as for example Stellarium to preview the positioning of the Milky Approach core from your vantage point.

For example, to start to see the core of the Milky Way from Southern Ontario, it is advisable to have a clear look at to the south-east in June.

I hope which you have discovered a few ideas to use on your next nights photography. I inspire you to set aside some period to see the Milky Approach under dark skies and look and feel the overwhelming link with our universe.

Recommended Posts