Tonight I experimented with some star photography! It was such a beautiful clear night, I can’t believe how well this photo turned out. BUT it wasn’t easy to take.
This was probably the 30th photo I shot.
Focusing when you can’t see anything you’re looking at is difficult. I was shooting with a 50 mm 1.8 because it’s the widest thing I have (damn portrait photographers) Now. A lot of much older lenses as well as “L” series lenses (sorry Nikon shooters, I don’t know what the equivalent is.) have a ring on them where it tells you that you are “focusing to infinity”.
Focusing to infinity is a hard concept to explain. Wikipedia says “infinity focus is the state where a lens or other optical system forms an image of an object an infinite distance away”
Whatever that means, some lenses tell you where that point on your focus ring is, which is ideal for star photos.
Mine does not. 😦
SO I had to test every little tick mark on my focusing ring in order to check with one was infinity. I read a few tips on other websites before shooting tonight and a lot of them suggested “just a hair past infinity” so that’s what I was shooting for (ha. another photographer pun.)
Lucky for me I live in a beautiful area where the stars look like this almost every night. If you live in a city I suggest going at least 30 miles away from the bright lights. Don’t get discouraged if you don’t make a decent image on the first try! It is not an easy subject to shoot. I’d love to go again with a wider lens.
Oh! Also, before I went out, I downloaded a FREE computer app called Stellarium. It’s an app that allows you to see where certain constellations are based on the coordinates you type in. I used this handy little app to find out which direction the main drag of the Milky Way was going to be, just in case I couldn’t already see it. Everyone enjoy the rest of your weekend!