Astrophotography can be divided into two camps: terrestrial and deep space. Both can be equally challenging for different reasons. But recent advances in technology have also made both more attainable and enjoyable.
Recent Astrophotography Articles
Comet NEOWISE is one of the brightest comets to visit earth for some time and can be seen right now in skies throughout the Northern Hemisphere. Here are some of the best tips for photographing it successfully.
After five years, NASA’s space probe Juno arrived at Jupiter in 2016, carrying with it Junocam, a two-megapixel camera featuring a Kodak image sensor. This camera continues to reveal more mysteries about the red planet.
I’m occasionally asked to recommend a camera to get into astrophotography. Of course, my first answer is to use the camera and lenses you already have. Beyond that, it’s difficult to recommend a specific brand and model because I don’t have every camera at my disposal, and we are blessed (cursed?) with a continuous stream of new and improved cameras. Here are some thoughts.
Hype for Google’s new flagship phone has intensified in recent weeks with photographers excited about what new technology the tech giant will be squeezing into its latest model. To add to the fervor, a leaked promo video suggests that a dedicated astrophotography mode will be incorporated.
With all the fanfare this past year over the latest developments in camera technology, it's easy to get caught up in gear envy. And that's completely natural. But what if there's a better camera out there that most of us have forgotten about?
Astrophotography has quickly become incredibly popular these days, with the advent of increasingly smaller and affordable star trackers, and not to mention the global pandemic, which has forced people to make do with photographing what is immediately around them, or above them.
Astrophotography is one of the few genres where gear can make a profound difference that is impossible to replicate without it. One of the most important tools — if not the most important tool — is the lens on the front of your camera.
If you have not realized it yet, Comet NEOWISE is on the night sky. This is a big event for astrophotographers and photography enthusiasts alike.
Editing pictures of the Milky Way is difficult to get right. Which white balance do you use? How bright should the scene be? How do you remove excessive noise without stars disappearing? Well, follow these eight steps for image editing success on the galactic scale with Lightroom Classic.
Astrophotography has become more popular than ever, in no small part due to the global pandemic, but also due to the availability of inexpensive portable tracking mounts.
You have likely already seen nighttime time-lapses in which the rotation of Earth causes the night sky to move. This incredibly neat time-lapse flips that on its head by holding the Milky Way stationary, showing the ground tilting as Earth continues to rotate and making for quite the mindblowing effect.
The recent addition of an astrophoto time-lapse mode (uncovered by XDA Developers) coming to Google’s camera app on their Pixel line of phones piqued my interest. Not that I think it will replace all of our “real” cameras, but I do have a deep appreciation for the engineering wizardry required to push right up to the physical limits of a tiny sensor and lens. And as an astronomy enthusiast, any developments that might open an appreciation of the night skies to a wider population get me very interested.
Astrophotography is a tremendously challenging genre, requiring specialized equipment, excellent technique, a lot of knowledge, and loads of patience. However, when you get a good image, it is all worth it, as you can capture some of the most remarkable photos of our universe. This great video follows an astrophotographer as he captures what he considers to be the best photo he has taken so far.
One of the biggest confusions that you might notice as you venture into astrophotography is that photographers and astronomers measure their equipment differently. Photographers tend to refer to their lenses in terms of their focal length, while astronomers refer to their telescopes by the diameter of their opening. Thus, a 75mm f/6 telescope has a focal length of 450mm. Meanwhile, a 75mm camera lens at f/6 has an aperture of 12.5mm. If a photographer is told that someone is shooting a 155mm lens hand-held, it would not raise an eyebrow, but an astronomer told the same thing would be incredulous! I can only barely lift my 155mm telescope onto its mount!
It seems each recent camera announcement has brought a higher megapixel count — including Sony's latest 60mp+ release. But whether you're shooting on 24mp APS-C, 50mp full frame, or 100mp medium format, you might not be getting all the resolution you paid for. Check out this list for 3 clarity-robbing problems and their fixes.
Aside from the Perseid meteor shower, the summer hype is on for viewing Saturn. Indeed, Saturn is a great target for visual observers, especially if it’s your very first view through a telescope. But for astrophotographers, it’s a tough target. A bit of an easier target is Jupiter, which is “following” Saturn across the summer sky.
Shooting landscapes at night often calls for gear that isn’t entirely essential for shooting during the day. Here are some suggestions for shooting single images, as well as star trails and time-lapse photography.
I've been doing astro-imaging for more than 20 years. Originally, there were not a lot of editing options, but over the years that has changed. But Astro Panel 5 offers some intriguing options.
Canon's mirrorless lenses have gotten off to quite an impressive start, though the bodies still have some catching up to do when it comes to innovation. Canon might be pushing that envelope a bit next year, though, as new rumors have uncovered the potential release of the ROS Ra, a full frame mirrorless camera designed specifically for astrophotography.
When you think of astrophotography, you probably think of expensive equatorial mounts, pricey wide aperture lenses, and top-of-the-line full frame cameras with excellent high ISO performance. But if you don't own all of that and are interested in trying it out, you might find this great video tutorial quite helpful, as it'll show you what's possible with just a crop sensor camera and kit lens.
Over the last few weeks I’ve talked with several adventure, wildlife, and landscape photographers about the Canon R5. I think that Paul Zizka’s four-word summary has been the most direct expression of satisfaction to date: it has it all.
Astrophotography is one of the most rewarding but complex genres of photography. There are a lot of steps that go into creating a great image of the night sky and Milky Way, and what better way to learn than to watch somebody do it from start to finish.
As you’re probably aware from the level of hype in your news feed, the Perseid meteor shower is approaching and you should get outside to see it now! Technically in late July, it is already active in our skies, but the reality is that there is a fairly narrow window of high activity only around the peak time. My own experience is that the number of meteors drops off dramatically a day before or after the peak evening.
What does it take to create an amazing landscape photograph? So many photographers, me included, have been guilty of creating beautiful content that portrays only the successes of landscape photography. In today's free landscape tutorial, I'm going to share some of the failures.
There are a lot of good tutorial resources out there, some of them free, but for the most part if you want a high quality video tutorial, you'll need to pay. Well, this is a rare exception.
A California-based astrophotographer has taken what is being called the world’s clearest picture of the moon. The process involved patiently placing together thousands of images of different lunar phases in order to showcase the entirety of the moon’s surface.
Long exposures and high ISOs can bring out hot pixels. Worse than just regular high ISO noise, hot pixels are those little brightly colored dots that stick out like a sore thumb. Their random nature has made them tough to deal with effectively, until now. Want to know the easiest way to get rid of them?
Editing astrophotographs can be tricky as there's a lot to go wrong, especially when working with the Milky Way. Thankfully, Lightroom has some powerful features that can help transform drab snaps to galactic masterpieces.
Fatherly advice is something of value that most of us would adhere to. Recent news tells of a striking example of such value: A father's wise counsel to hold on to some cheaply acquired film footage should soon lead one former NASA intern to riches.
If you’ve been shooting (landscape) astrophotos for a while but are relatively new to astronomy, you may be contemplating stepping up to a telescope for your astrophotography. But taking the next step isn’t as simple as getting a longer lens for more magnified views. You should understand the changes in your shooting and equipment that this implies.
Astrophotography is a tricky business, even if you happen to live in the Namib desert. However, if you don't live in such a remote location, you'll likely have struggled with light pollution. In recent years, we have seen a number of filters designed to help with this problem. But do they work?
If you’re into astrophotography, a drone typically isn’t your camera of choice. That’s why I was surprised to see Haida’s release of a light-pollution reducing filter for the new Mavic 3, which they’re calling the NanoPro Clear-Night Filter. Does this filter change the experience of shooting with a drone at night?
If you’ve viewed deep-sky astrophotos (not landscape astrophotos), you may have noticed that extremely long exposures (not counting mosaics) are used. In extreme cases, exposures may run over 12 hours. Unless you have a space telescope, it should be obvious that multiple exposures have been used.
It’s springtime, which means that for most of us around the world, the core of the Milky Way galaxy, or the “Galactic Bulge,” will be prominently visible in the night sky roughly through the end of summer.
In 2021, one of the astronomical targets you may want to challenge your photo skills on is the lunar eclipse occurring on May 26 (the evening of May 25-26). While lunar eclipses are generally not hard to see, since half the world can see the moon at any instant, not everyone can see the full extent of the approximately three-hour event. For this one, Pacific Ocean hemisphere residents are favored, but the west coast of the U.S. gets to see totality followed by the still partially eclipsed moon set opposite the sunrise.
If you have been using your digital camera for astrophotography, you’re probably aware that there are special astro variants of some of the more popular cameras. But how exactly are these special variants different, and can you modify yours?
With so many new cameras for every type of photographer and videographer, a few bodies from that last few years have dropped off the radar almost completed; this is one of them.
One photographer has had his attempts at capturing the Comet NEOWISE sabotaged, after his view was interrupted by SpaceX’s Starlink satellites, whose lights cut into his shots.
Comet Neowise is probably going to be the most positive event of 2020, so here is how I immortalized this beautiful phenomenon.
As photographers, we generally think of long exposures as being on the order of a few minutes, maybe a few hours if you get deep into astrophotography. This exposure took far longer than that, however; in fact, it took over a week to gather enough light for the final image.
The recent large scale deployment of the first piece of the SpaceX satellite constellation triggered a controversy among astronomers and astro-photographers. With the planned launch of 12,000 satellites by the mid-2020s, some people fear the worst. What is really going on?
I strive to capture moments in time with my photography, and one thing I like is once in a lifetime or very rare moments. The Neowise comet (aka C/2020 F3 NEOWISE) is one of those moments that won't happen again for about another 6,800 years.
A few weeks ago, I read some news about the rare NEOWISE Comet passing by Earth and being large and clear enough to see with your naked eye. I got up, went outside, and looked up to a bunch of cloud cover. Luckily for me and all of you, we can always hit up Instagram and Facebook for great photos other photographers captured.
One cold night a few weeks ago, photographer Matthew Vandeputte set a time-lapse running and went to bed for the night. In the morning, he discovered that his sequence had captured an incredible meteor crashing into the Earth’s atmosphere, creating a stunning trail and leaving a spectacular puff of smoke. If only we could all shoot images like this while unconscious.
Last year, I took a look at Astro Panel, a Photoshop plugin designed to enhance Milky Way and other astronomical images. At the time, I was happy with what it did, but the author had a security scheme that forced you to log into the app every couple of weeks, which I thought was burdensome and downright silly.
If you’ve ever thought about getting into astrophotography, you may have been dissuaded by the task of correctly processing your own images. There are countless guides online using a variety of programs, but they are either expensive and difficult to use, or are only available for a single operating system.
What’s the longest exposure you’ve ever taken? Thirty seconds? A few minutes? Check out this camera that shoots a ten million-second exposure of the Sun — depending on how long you leave it tied to your roof.
Astrophotography is a very challenging genre, requiring specialized equipment, technical knowledge, top-notch technique, and a lot of patience, but it can be tremendously rewarding when it all comes together and you get a stunning image of something that is an unfathomably large distance from our home. If you are new to deep-sky astrophotography, this great video tutorial will show you the basics of getting started with a camera and a telescope.
Astrophotography and nighttime photography generally come with their own respective challenges. The biggest problem tends to be increased noise especially in the shadow areas of an image. But what if there was some incredibly smart software that could magically get rid of the noise and improve your images, would you use it?