Hello, followers of In this article, we will focus on the ‘star exposure‘. I will discuss ‘How to take a Milky Way photo, its techniques’ and ‘How to make long exposure settings at night’ and I will try to explain the details of these subjects.

There are two types of star exposure. One is called star long exposure and the other is called milky way exposure. Click for more details about what is long exposure.

What is Star Long Exposure

Star long exposure is a photograph of the movement of stars over time. The movement of stars in the sky is tried to be depicted. It can be shot in two different ways.

First Method in Star Exposure: Continuous shooting

The first method is to photograph the stars with normal long exposure. Since I have explained all the details of the long exposure in another article here, I will keep it short for not repeating it.

Star circul photo example: sony a6000 + 100 iso + f7.1 + 2381 sec

The most important equipment after the camera is the tripod. After the camera is fixed on a tripod, we take a test shot in high iso and open aperture to get the right frame. A poor quality image will occur but it is not important to us. Our aim is to adjust the frame. After adjusting our framing, we lock the shutter by initiating exposure by phone via the remote control or wifi. During this exposure, we should be careful that our diaphragm is around 8-11 and our ISO value is at a minimum. We should already use Manual as the shooting mode; because in others BULB is not active. Generally, a wide angle lens is used so that we can shoot a lot of stars and lots of landscapes in our frame. Approximately 45 minutes – 60 minutes will be sufficient. Remember to turn off the long exposure noise reduction setting. Otherwise, if you add the recording time as much as your curtain time, it will cost about 2 hours.

One of the important points to note is the manual-automatic adjustment of our lens. Getting autofocus is very difficult because the environment is already too dark. Also, even if you can get autofocus, the focus points may shift. Therefore, the most ideal is to focus manually. We must choose infinity as the focus point. Rotate the focus ring of your lens as far as it will go. It is not very difficult, even if you have a wide angle lens, it will be clear after f5.6. If there is a wide angle, it can fix the focus error.

This method is a method that can force the camera excessively. It may cause warming. It can even permanently damage the motherboard. You shouldn’t keep the time too long. A second drawback is the external light sources that can enter the frame. If a tractor or a firework light enters the frame, my dear will ruin the photo. Worse still would be an irreversible mistake; It is necessary to repeat the shooting with the same scenario. The second method below will be more advantageous if it has external resources.

Second Method in Star Exposure: Combining

In the second method, there is no continuous shooting. You can even use your camera’s time lapse function if available. If there is no time lapse feature, you will have to do it manually. This will be a little bit troublesome. Our settings should look like this: The diaphragm is again around 8 -11. Our shooting speed is 30 seconds and our ISO value is around 600-1000. Again, with manual focus, we can select the focus point as described above and start shooting.

Now you can ‘how ‘! How would we get the star long exposure in 30 seconds? The question may come. You are also right. But we don’t shoot for 30 seconds. We need to shoot at least 100 x 30 sec 🙂 So, under the conditions we mentioned, you should shoot at least 100 times in a row. We will then combine the photos you take with star exposure combining programs. The most famous of these programs are photoshop, starstax and startrails. You can easily download and use other programs except ps from their own pages or download programs. Do not leave much time between two consecutive poses taken, no longer than 20 seconds. I recommend control from the phone or remote control to keep the camera still. If both are burning, you should shoot with a 10 second delayed shoot.

To summarize briefly, it is obtained by combining individual photographs from the computer environment by waiting around 100 (most ideal between 80 and 120) square photos, around f8, with an average of iso 800, about 20-30 seconds in length and no more than 20 seconds between them. method. It looks like a bit of a spoon when you look back and read it, but when you experience it a few times, this method is sitting. In fact, Olympus has adapted the method I have just described above to the cameras. It automatically takes and photographs for you. In Olympus, this feature is called LIVE COMPOSITE. I must say it is very useful. I even thought about getting an Olympus just for the night shots.

The biggest disadvantage of this method is that you cannot get full rotary motion when a frame is removed. A discrete image may appear. But it’s okay if you don’t miss the square. A second drawback is the difficulty of shooting in raw format and combining these raw files. Although it is a separate problem that takes up a lot of space, it will take a lot of time when programs combine these frames on the computer. There is also the possibility that the tripod will swing in this method, which is also a problem that can make the photograph garbage (in the other method). You have to be careful about the tripod.

Milkyway Exposure

Milky Way exposure is much different than long exposure. We aim for the movement of stars in the long exposure, but in the Milky Way exposure, our goal is to draw the stationarity of the stars.

sony a6000 + 25 sec + 2000 iso + 10 mm + f4

500 rules in Milky Way Photography:

Before we move on to the technique, let’s give our machine values. Our machine’s ISO value will be high. If you can trust your camera, 3200 iso is good. Our aperture value should be the clearest. Around f2.8-F4 is good. The shutter speed depends on the type of our lens. In this star exposure technique, the Milky Way exposures, a formula called rule 500 is used for the shutter speed: The shutter speed is calculated by dividing 500 by the focal length to shoot. Of course, we will consider the focal length as full frame. If we are using a machine with a crop sensor, we must multiply the focal length value by the number of multipliers.

It would be better if I explain it with an example: Let’s say you plan to shoot with a 20mm lens. Let your machine get a 1.5-factor Nikon d5500. The focal length will be 20x 1.5 = 30mm. 500: 30 = 16.6. You can shoot in 16 seconds. It is not a very difficult calculation. It will be advantageous not to have a slow shutter speed but to have more. Therefore, both a wide angle lens with a clear aperture and a full-frame machine are ideal for Milky Way exposure. If we use it for a longer time than the result from the above calculation, the motion of the stars will begin to reflect on the sensor and the Milky Way exposure will suddenly mix with the long exposure. In the Milky Way exposure, as I have stated above, the motion of the stars is desired, not the motion effect.

Other Points in Milky Way and Star Exposure:

** In both types of exposure, the air must be cloudless and clear. If there are clouds, never waste hours; cancel shooting and try it on a cloudless day. They will completely sabotage the composition.

** Focus is very important in both types and it is difficult to get focus. Focusing in pitch dark is not as easy as expected. Autofocus is useless and manual focus is difficult. The best method is to illuminate where you will get focus with a flashlight and get focus. If your sharpness will be in the stars, no problem; you can focus forever. So you should bring the sharpening ring to its final point. Using a wide-angle lens can also solve the problem of sharpness relatively. For example, in f11 and above diaphragms at a focal length of 16 mm, your entire field of vision will be almost clear. Therefore, even if you have shifted the sharpness, the lens can perish on your behalf.

Avoid Light Pollution

** Pay close attention to light pollution and constant light sources. Do not place the residential areas and fixed light sources on your frame.

** Do not shoot, especially if there is a Moon. Get to the place by learning the sunset times of the month from reliable websites. Even if the moon does not enter the frame, it will burn your photos, as it affects the entire sky.

** Timing is also very important in star long exposure. If you want a light, bright color tone from the background, you should shoot 1.5-2 hours after sunset. not gold watches, parlement watches will be a useful choice. There are sites such as at which point these hours occur, you can search.

Star Photo Example: Sony a600+ 11 mm+ 25 sec + 1600 iso + f4

** Do not just choose the sky when adjusting the composition in both types of exposure. There must be a historical building, tree, mountain or something in the front. It will strengthen the composition. Also, if you paint these objects with light for a few seconds, the photo will not be eaten.

Shooting RAW is Always an Advantage

** Make your shots in RAW format. The best would be RAW + Jpeg. You can only shoot a few frames, but in a raw format.

** Don’t forget to process your photos. Since it will be weighted in black, different color effects will be more original.

** You don’t always have to shoot the Milkyway. You can only shoot stars in dots. This is entirely up to you. But I recommend you to try different exposures. Pamper even more and have fun drawing different shapes with color lasers.

*** I leave the most important to the end: Security! Walking in the mountains and hills at night is not as easy as it is expected to stay. You should also pay attention to wild animals. Do not do anything without being sure of your safety. It does not joke !!! Experience speaks 🙂

Let your light be of good quality …

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