In this video, photographer Saurav Sinha shares how to capture stunning Milky Way images. Astrophotography can be a lot of fun, but it comes with its own set of challenges, which is reasonable considering your subject is literally out of this world.
Here, Sinha explains the whats and hows to achieving some beautiful images of our beautiful galaxy.
One of the first things he mentions is to use the widest focal length you have, as it relates to the shutter speed. There is some mathematical equation involved that he calls the "500 Rule," which he then goes on to explain in detail. If it's too technical, just remember to use the widest focal length you have to be on the safe side. Math isn't exactly my main area of focus, so I'm definitely just going with the widest focal length!
Also use the widest aperture you have, as you need as much light as possible to hit your light sensor. As for ISO, when shooting for stars, it usually is so dark that you have to use a minimum of ISO 3200. Sinha recommends to start there and later have a look at the histogram on your camera to see if you need to raise it higher. He mentions not to be afraid to have a higher ISO for a properly exposed image, as that will produce the best quality. As for focus, find the brightest star in your frame and then use manual focus to focus at infinity.
Other than the technical details, Sinha also shared his planning process, which is really important for any shoot, regardless of what your subject matter is. He mentions how he traveled a three- to four-hour drive away from the city to get away from the light pollution that cities have. Especially if you're going to drive all that way, be sure to check on the weather to ensure it is not hazy or cloudy, as that can affect how your images turn out. Moon phase is another thing that you should consider. The best time is when there is no moon in the sky, as moonlight makes it difficult to see the galaxy clearly.
Check out the video to see additional tips about sturdy tripods, remotes, image stabilization, lights, and composition. Have fun!